A qualified praise for the EC

As my journalist friend J says, we should give praise to EC when they are praiseworthy, just like we must criticize them when they deserve criticism.

Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002, the by-law that governs the voter registration process, only require what I would call the “entry list” (the list of newly registered voters and voters who applied to transfer to new constituencies) in the Supplementary Electoral Roll. There is no legal requirement of what I would call the “exit list” (the list of voters who are dead or have become disqualified for registration).

This legal loophole means that names can be arbitrarily deleted and the public cannot inspect and protest any wrongful exclusion. I don’t know why the EC have not bothered to change the by-law. (This is why my praise for the EC is “qualified”.)
Nevertheless, in the published supplementary rolls, the EC actually provides also the list of the names disqualified and transferred out.

I don’t know when this practice has begun as this is probably the first time EC widely publicize the display of supplementary rolls. I don’t remember such publicity happens in 2004 or even three years ago. I think the civil society and political parties can take comfort that the EC is still somewhat sensitive to public opinion.

Technically, the EC is overstepping the by-law when it includes the list of deleted names. It should therefore move to revise the by-law as soon as possible. This is nevertheless a very positive move to improve the transparency of the electoral process. Well done, EC!

You can now search if your name has been excluded or transferred. You can raise objection or make claims to any wrongful changes. If you don’t do it now, you will have a weak case to complain later.

On a related note, a reader condemns the EC for having incomplete rolls (as they are split into the principal and supplementary rolls) and having a long lead time before voter registrations can take effect. The establishment of two separate rolls and the long lead time actually have their rationales. If there is only a single roll, voter roll verification will take more time and effort. Meanwhile, if names are certified within a week or so, there will be no time for claim, objection, hearing, appeal, etc to correct any mistakes.

2 responses to “A qualified praise for the EC

  1. 1. A complete roll is indicated in the EC Act. GE cannot go by supplementary list alone!

    2. The procedures and time frame should be a commitment from EC not only for the GE but any violation are binding even after the GE.

    3. A copy of the certified registration form should be the one to be based and used. Any mistake deviated from the form will be on EC account and not subject to the finding from the Roll, unless mistaken made by the applicants themselves. Otherwise, QC control on the list is with EC and not by the Public!

    4. IC Department should be the first one to commit!

    5. Complete roll are still into constituency and with index to check. If on-line or electronic file, it should not be a big fuss!

  2. Hi. The link to EC website in your page above does not seem to work. Check it out. -GS

    Thanks. Corrected.

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