For those who have never cast their votes before, it might be good for you to know how the process goes. The photo guide below is compiled with photos from the last elections in 2004.
Step 1: When you get into the polling station, which is normally a school, you will normally be led to the EC booth to check your polling stream. This does not happen if you live in a very small polling district (says with only a few hundred electorate) which has only one stream.
Step 2: You will then proceed to your polling stream, which is normally a class room. Likely you will be in a queue.
Step 3: When you walk into the polling stream, a clerk will ask for your NRIC, check your name on electoral roll, read out your name and NRIc number, and cross out your name on his/her electoral roll.
Step 4: When your name is read out, the presiding officer (namely the one in-charge of the polling stream) and the parties’ polling agents will also cross out your name on their electoral rolls.
Step 5: The ballot will be perforated or stamped before given to you.
(In the past, the clerk would take mark your number on the counterfoil of the ballot. This made many worried if their choices might be known and they might be subject to retribution. Such fear is not founded as all ballots will be sealed after counting and destroyed six months after the polls. In any case, the by-law had been amended that the practice of jotting down your number on the counterfoil is now unlawful since 2006 Sarawak State Elections. Protest if you find the clerk still jot down your number, but don’t over-react – they may simply just do not know that the law has changed.)
Pay attention to ensure that no extra ballot is torn out by the clerk who may just make mistakes if names are called out faster than s/he can candle, when the long queue builds up the pressure on the polling workers.
Step 6: You will bring the ballots (the yellow one is for the parliamentary contest, and the white one for the state contest) to the polling booth. Make sure no one is watching you. You may protest if the secrecy of voting is compromised.
Step 7: You will then cast your marked ballots into the respective ballot boxes. Another clerk may be standing there to ensure the ballots are properly cast into the boxes. Don’t worry, she will not know your choice.
And, that’s it! You have now exercised your right as a boss to the government. You may now go home but please keep a watchful eye on your elected representative.