How do you vote? A Pictorial Guide for First-timers.

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.

Polling 1

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.

voting step 2

Step 2: You will then proceed to your polling stream, which is normally a class room. Likely you will be in a queue.

voting step 3

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.

voting step 4

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.

voting step 5a

voting step 5b

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.

voting step 6

voting step 6b

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.

voting step 7

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.


29 responses to “How do you vote? A Pictorial Guide for First-timers.

  1. Pingback: 投票过程全图解–新鲜人选民指南 « 匈奴未灭

  2. wah! is this from the previous election or do you just hire a bunch of people to be photographed?

    good job!

    From last elections.

  3. excellent!
    hope you dont mind if i use it for the polling agent training.

    Please do so.

  4. Pingback: 善与恶之间 » 投票需知 - 新鲜人指南

  5. please correct me if I am wrong. In the election, we just mark a ‘X’ beside the Rocket and another `X’ on the double crescent. We basically ignore the symbol with the double scale. I think I am getting the hang of election now 🙂

    The ballot papers shown are just a sample, like the sample for RM notes. You just make your own informed decision, which can be of any party. If what you describe is the informed decision you have come to make, yes, please do so.

  6. I remember some people saying that if u were say a supporter of the BN Candidate.
    Then you can mark an “X” next to the opposing candidate, so that he/she does not qualify.

    I wonder how many people will fall for this mis-statement.

    Suggest make a Poster. To all BN supporters, mark an “X” on the candidate other than the BN candidate.
    ELSE mark a “Y” for the BN Candidate.

    (The above is just in jest. No malice involved.)

  7. Pingback: Sivin Kit’s Garden » Random Links 220 ("Election Chill" Edition)

  8. Guys,

    You are NOT to write anything on the ballot paper. Just put an”x” next to your prefered candidate. The state ballot paper(white) as shown in the picture is a spoilt vote(not valid) because of the remarks on the ballot paper. Have fun voting.

    You are right that voting means only marking “X” but I don’t think a vote will be considered spoiled as long as the intended choice is clear. To be on the save side, don’t write anything. If you want to express something, write it on another piece of paper, fold it together with your ballot paper and cast them together.

  9. hope you don’t mind if i reproduce your write up here. 🙂

  10. heys~ thanks so much for the info. hope you don’t mind if i pass this along. 🙂

  11. to e-check your voting status go here:


    Please Insert IC Number (without “-” or “space”)

    new ic no: 11 digits: xxxxxxxxxxxx
    old ic no 7 digits: yyyyyyy

    Checking to :

    IC Number : new ic xxxxxxxxxxxx / old iczzzzzzz
    Name : aaaa aaaa aaaa
    Birth Year : 19zz
    Gender : L p
    Locality : 111 / 22 / 33 / 444 – JALAN 55/66
    Polling District : 222 / zz / ss – SEKSYEN xx utera
    State Assemblies : xxx / ww – BUKIT xxxxx
    Parliamentary : xxx – suabang jaya , ho hohoo
    State : SELANGOR
    Polling Centre : PUSAT yyyy xxxx
    Polling Stream : 1
    Voting Time : 08.00 PAGI – 05.00 PETANG
    Serial No : qqq
    For further information ,please email us : :

    Copyright 2008 © Election Commission Of Malaysia
    TEL : 03-8885 6500 or FAX : 03-8888 9112
    Date : 17 February 2008

    caveat fair use notice:

  12. Would you mind if republished this on

    Please go ahead. All friends are welcome to reproduce or even modify it (as long as its original attention is not distorted). Thanks.

  13. thanks for this info! I am quoting your article at my blog 🙂

  14. BN, BN… Go away,
    Come again another day,
    BN, BN… Go away,
    Lil Khairy want to play.

  15. Pingback: List of candidates in Penang election | The Obnoxious 5xmom

  16. Pingback: Buzzing Life :: First time voter? :: February :: 2008

  17. Time to vote for Jeff Ooi and the Opposition. Time to negate corrupted BN government who SAPU all from rakyat. Exercise your right now!!

    TAK NAK TO ………….

    Yes, we need the check and balance for good governance.
    Please call upon all friends and relatives to vote for the Opposition.
    Please do ourselves favour by sending the right candidates to parliment
    to voice up for us. Especially Penang and Jelutong voters, we need more
    and more of your supports to reject BN parasites in the Parliment.

    Please call upon your friends and relatives, vote for the Opposition.
    Especially those staying in Penang, please vote for the Opposition. Let
    the Parliment have the real voice of rakyat.

  18. someone said ‘don’t compare Malaysia with S’pore b.cos one is good grape the other is good apple’ mind you, even if it is the same i would say one is good while the other is rotten. If we don’t compare with the good ones how do we know how far we have fared? Are we going to compare with those who are poorer, uglier, more stupid & more corrupt than us and say ‘hey!we are much better’ 50 years ago, our Ringgit was 1:1 Sing$ now what? Who were leading our country & what happened? We can write volumes on it but no need. Given the prosperity of our country, if governed efficiently,well & honestly, Malaysians could have double what we can see today. Maybe cheaper petrol,toll-free highway,more schools,more hospitals, more aid for the poorer Bumiputras, more this & more that….the list goes on, enough, period. Let us all cry out loud once and for all….let our tears clean this beloved country of all the ills. Come March 8, we will witness the calling of GOD, to rid the evil and re-install sanity back to the system. VOTE BARISAN RAKYAT…. VOTE KEADILAN, VOTE DAP,VOTE PAS.

  19. vote for candidates who can work for the rakyat and bring more development to the local society.

  20. Pingback: How Do You Vote in Malaysia? « BUUUUURRRRNING HOT

  21. Pingback: How do you vote ? « Dr Hsu’s Forum

  22. Pingback: Are You a First-time Voter? at life is beautiful

  23. Here’s another tip for first-time voters: when check whether you’re on the rolls at the SPR site (per Pluto’s comment above), make a print out of the results, as proof that you’re actually on the rolls.

    This is just hearsay, but I’ve heard that first-time voters’ names have mysteriously not been included in the roll at the polling station, even though the voter had registered. You’ll need to argue with the SPR officer and insist that he/she rechecks.

    When you print it out, make sure the SPR logo at the top of the page is included…

  24. Pingback: How To Vote « Jed Yoong

  25. Pingback: Pictorial Guide for First Time Voters | Malaysians Say The Darndest Things!

  26. Pingback: Last Word before the Election | MakalVoice

  27. Pingback: » Happy Voting

  28. Pingback: Chian Yi~~~ blog » Blog Archive » Pic Guide for 1st time voter

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