KUCHING, May 2 – A total of 24,604 early voters will be casting their ballots on Tuesday in the 11th Sarawak state election. Election Commission secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said they comprise police, General Operations Force and military personnel and their spouses.
They will be voting at 79 polling centres involving 100 polling streams from 8am until 5pm. The figure does not include early voters for the Bukit Kota and Bukit Sari seats which were won uncontested by Barisan Nasional candidates. Abdul Ghani said the ballot papers (in the early voting) will not be counted at the respective polling centres but instead will be kept in a secure place, that is police lockups.
“Counting of these ballots will start at 4pm on polling day (May 7). It will be done at the vote tallying centres in the presence of the polling agents of the respective candidates. Indelible ink would be used in the early voting process just like in normal voting and will be handled by EC staff,” Abdul Ghani said in a statement here Sunday.
“The process (early voting) would be witnessed by the candidates’ polling agents. Besides this, local observers from non-governmental organisations selected by the EC can also witness the early voting process with permission to enter the polling centres from the military and police authorities,” he said.
For this election, the Electoral Roll for Sarawak updated on April 10, 2016 is being used. It has 1,138,650 registered voters made up of 1,113,522 normal voters, 25,022 early voters and 106 absentee (postal) voters. The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly will have 82 seats following this election, 11 more than previously following a redelineation exercise. On Nomination Day on April 25, the Bukit Kota and Bukit Sari seats were won uncontested by their BN incumbents, namely Abdul Rahman Ismail and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan respectively.