It’s your right to spoil your vote

Sometimes, it is the political parties and politicians that need voter education, not us the voters.  It’s time to tell this to the arrogant EC, politicians and “journalists”.

NST has an article by Zubaidah Abu Bakar titled “Making spoiled votes a thing of the past“. Quoting the EC and UMNO (interestingly, no PAS or other opposition or civil society activists), her line is that spoiled votes are the result of inadequate voter education, completing in denial of the possibility that spoiled votes may be an informed choice.

To vote or not to vote is your choice and it should be an informed one.

In other words, if you intend to vote for a candidate, then certainly your vote should not be spoiled as that is against your interest.

In similar logic, if you intend to express your dissatisfaction against all the candidates you have, then you should not have cast it validly, otherwise no one will know that you are not happy.

In some countries, you have this option on the ballot: “none of the above”, and if the leading candidate wins less than a certain percentage of the total vote, a re-election cannot be held.

In Malaysia, the only way for you to make known your dissatisfaction is not abstention. If you choose not to go to vote, the politicians simply assume that you don’t care.

If you feel that you have to choose between bad and worse, explicitly spoil your vote.  Cut across all the boxes and express your feeling briefly like “kecewa!” “all useless!” or more specific one like “no to X! no to Y!”. (Don’t leave it blank so that no one can cast it for you later.)

The more votes spoiled, the stronger the effect – the winner will know that s/he could have been upset and the losers will know that how close they are from the victory.

All sides will have to work harder to woo the dissatisfied lot. Politicians will know that they do not have a captive market.

For the angry voters, spoiling vote is therefore rational and casting a valid vote is irrational.

Sometimes, it is the political parties and politicians that need voter education, not us the voters.  It’s time to tell this to the arrogant EC, politicians and “journalists”.

If I am a voter at KT, spoiling the ballot will be my likely option.

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