Gani: Automatic voter sign-up needs constitutional change

(The Malaysian Insider) – The Attorney-General told the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms today that implementing automatic voter registration would require an amendment to the Federal Constitution.

The country’s top lawyer earlier today cleared the way for the use of indelible ink, a key demand by polls reform movement Bersih 2.0, to be implemented after clarifying that only a minor regulation change is needed.

He was previously reported as saying the introduction of indelible ink similarly required a constitutional amendment.

Today, panel chief Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili told reporters that Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said Article 119(4)(b) of the Constitution would need to be altered.

“The A-G said automatic registration will need a constitutional amendment and also changes to regulations,” he said.

The clause in the Constitution states that the “qualifying date” for a voter “means the date on which a person applies for registration as an elector in a constituency, or the date on which he applies for the change of his registration as an elector in a different constituency.”

Bersih 2.0, which led tens of thousands into the capital to demand free and fair elections on July 9, has said automatic voter registration must be implemented in the longer term as a measure to reduce irregularities in the electoral roll.

The coalition of 62 NGOs has demanded the electoral roll be cleaned up before an election expected soon.