Electronic or hybrid voting is the way forward

LETTERS: Kudos to the voters who cast their votes during the recent Kemaman parliamentary by-election.

At the same time, how much longer do we want to burden the voters in the country with the archaic voting process?

We should make use of all the existing high-tech applications to allow voters to vote online instead of the physical voting process at the polling station.

Remember, during the recent six states' election, an 83-year-old woman died while casting her vote at Sekolah Kebangsaan Rokan in Negri Sembilan.

Many voters also have to travel a long distance and endure heavy traffic in order to go back to their hometowns to vote.

There are many advantages of electronic voting including faster counting and announcement of election results.

There will also be increased trust in elections as human error can be avoided, increased voter turnout, cost reduction when applying e-voting on multiple electoral events and reduced ballot waste.

Electronic voting technology can include punched cards, optical scan voting systems and specialised voting kiosks (including self-contained direct-recording electronic voting systems — DRE).

If we are not ready or cannot fully implement electronic voting process, we can at least try to implement a hybrid voting process that combines online and offline voting.

This will allow voters to choose to cast their ballots either in person or online. This gives everyone the option to vote in the way that works best for them.

Younger voters will surely be more encouraged to vote as they are used to conducting a good portion of their lives through digital mediums. Another advantage is that it can save a lot of money.

Organisations that switch to hybrid voting process often find that they no longer need to print and mail out a large number of ballots.

This can translate to significant cost savings. Finally, the hybrid voting process is more environment friendly than paper ballots as we don't have to print as many paper ballots.

I hope the Election Commission will look into implementing this proposal.


Associate Profesor, Faculty of Syariah and Laws, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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