Automatic voter registration and voting for those 18 and above will likely be implemented only after September next year, the Election Commission (EC) said today.
EC chairman Abdul Ghani Salleh said preparations are on track, including system development, data review and coordination, and follow-up programmes with government agencies, political parties and NGOs.
“However, the EC is realistic about current developments and the situation of the country, which is still under movement control order to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“This directly affects the planning and preparation of the EC. Hence, automatic voter registration and Undi18 are expected to be implemented after Sept 1, 2022, considering the various constraints and issues that have affected planning and initial preparations,” he said.
In a statement, he said the EC is also preparing an interim report about the two matters which is expected to be released in September.
He said based on the EC’s records, there are 5.6 million Malaysians above 18. Of this number, 1.2 million are between 18 and 20 while 4.4 million, at above 21, are currently eligible to vote but have yet to register.
“The EC will launch a pre-automatic registration checking system through its portal in August to allow the 5.6 million prospective voters to check and verify their information,” he added.
On July 16, 2019, the Federal Constitution was amended by the then-Pakatan Harapan administration to lower the age of voting to 18.
The bill which also allowed automatic voter registration and those 18 and above to contest in elections was passed with 211 votes in the Dewan Rakyat.