By now, election fever has reached boiling point, with #GE14 trending on most – if not all – Malaysian social media outlets. While it is commendable that so many people, both young and old, are concerned about the upcoming elections, it must be noted that the general election is held every five years, which means there are many new voters who are unfamiliar with the voting process, not to mention past voters who may have forgotten the finer details.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what to do and how to prepare for the important day on May 9, 2018.
#1 Bring your Identification Card (I.C.)
This is a no-brainer, really, but please don’t forget to bring your National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) when going out to vote on May 9. You will need to produce your NRIC to verify your voter status, only then will you be allowed to cast your vote in the general election.
#2 Wear plain clothing
Specifically, wear plain clothing without any party’s logo. Better yet, wear plain clothing without any logos or prints that may be misconstrued as being offensive or politically biased. Wearing decent/proper clothing is also encouraged as a sign of respect – after all, most of the voting stations are schools or community halls.
#3 ‘X’ marks your vote
I know, I know. It may feel ‘wrong’ to put an ‘X’ for your chosen candidate, but in the polls, X is the ONLY mark you need to put on the ballot paper. Make sure you take a careful look at your ballot paper, and mark the X clearly next to the party emblem you wish to vote for.
#4 Don’t play with your phone
In the age of Instagram and Facebook stories, it can be tempting to do a ‘live’ video on social media for your followers when you’re casting your vote – but please don’t. It’s (probably) illegal and will definitely get you in trouble with the authorities. Put your phone on silent mode and do not make/pick up phone calls when you are at the voting station too. You can always snap and post a photo of your inked finger after leaving the classroom or hall.
#5 Ensure your ballot paper is spotless
When the SPR officer hands you the ballot paper, it will be folded. Make sure you open it immediately to check that the ballot paper is clean, without any dirty marks or spots, that may warrant a spoilt vote (or undi rosak). Be careful when holding the ballot paper, because your finger will be inked before you head to the voting booth to cast your vote!
#6 Serial number and certified stamp on your ballot
Your ballot paper must have a serial number and a certified stamp by SPR to be a valid vote. Check to see that both the number and stamp are there. If either one is missing, you may request for a new ballot, and make sure you watch the SPR officer slash/cancel out the faulty ballot before proceeding to the voting booth.
#7 Avoid having painted nails
This is probably a bit perplexing to most, especially the ladies with manicured nails, but there’s a rationale behind not having nail polish on your nails when going to vote. Your finger will be inked with the indelible ink when you go to vote, so if you have painted nails, you could be mistaken as having already voted. Best to remove your nail polish before heading to the polls (plus the indelible ink would ruin your manicure anyway).
Here’s a Chinese version by MOODOODLES:
Remember, every vote counts! As a responsible citizen, it is your duty to register as a voter once you come of age – which is 21 years old in Malaysia – because it represents your beliefs in the country’s leaders (whichever party they are from) and their ideals. Happy voting!