News | Automatic voter registration and Undi18 by Dec 30

KUALA LUMPUR: The automatic registration of 18-year-olds as voters and automatic voter registration is expected to be implemented by December 2021, said law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said the Election Commission (EC) was identifying and looking for solutions for Undi18 and the automatic voter registration to be implemented.

“The EC is committed to implementing them, latest by Dec 30, 2021,” he said in his ministerial reply in the Dewan Rakyat.

He also confirmed that by Dec 31, 2021 there will be 5.6 million additional voters, with 4.4 million aged 21 and above. Another 1.2 million will be aged between 18 and 21.

Wan Junaidi added that every year 500,000 people will turn 18 and will be eligible to register as voters.

Previously, Wan Junaidi had said the EC would prepare to implement Undi18 amendments by Dec 31 this year, but this would not include automatic registration.

He said Putrajaya would comply with the order made by the Kuching High Court, adding that the government had not decided whether to file an appeal.

The High Court in Kuching ordered the government to implement Undi18 amendments by Dec 31, after allowing a legal challenge filed by five Sarawakian youths against the decision by the previous government – led by Muhyiddin Yassin – not to implement the Undi18 amendments by July.

The Undi18 bill, officially known as Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019, was passed by the Dewan Negara in July 2019 and gazetted two months later. The amendment lowers the voting age from 21 to 18.

Previously, the EC had said the implementation of the 18-year-old voting age and automatic voter registration would be implemented from July this year but the deadline was pushed to next September due to Covid-19 and the movement control orders. – FMT

by Minderjeet Kaur

credit photo: Azhar Ramli

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