Voters will be asked to leave their phones with the Presiding Officer at the polling centre during the upcoming 15th Malaysian general election (GE15) on 19 November. The new policy was revealed in an infographic that was published on Election Commission (EC) Facebook page and Twitter yesterday.
Specifically, voters will have to surrender their phones after they picked up their ballot paper from the third polling clerk as noted in the fifth step of the infographic. Only after they cast their vote that they can pick up their device once again from the Presiding Officer.
At the moment, it is not known why EC has implemented the new policy as the commission did not even include any explanation alongside the infographic although it is possible that the move is meant to curb vote buying. It is also not known at the moment if voters will be able to label or mark their phones before passing them to the Presiding Officer in order to avoid theft.
Of course, one can always leave their phone at home in order to reduce the risk of theft. Then again, it goes without saying that many would prefer to have their phone with them given the high chance of facing long queues at the polling centre.
Meanwhile, other steps noted in the infographic are generally similar to previous GEs including the usage of indelible ink which was put in place since GE13 in 2013. For those who are wondering, no, you will not be asked to sanitize your hands after dipping your finger into the indelible ink as claimed by a viral message that may have been forwarded to you.
Speaking about the GE15, don’t forget to check out our quick guides on how to check your voter’s registration status as well as the location of your polling station through the MySPR Semak website and mobile apps.