EC: 18-year-olds will be able to vote by mid-2021

Julia Chan
Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun speaks to the media during a press conference at Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) in Putrajaya July 18, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 3 — The Election Commission (EC) expects to complete the amendments that will allow 18-year-olds to vote to be implemented by July 2021.

Its chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said that they are still in the process of amending the laws in relation to voter registration as well as establish the standard operating procedures and support system that comes with it.

“The EC estimates that all this can be done within 18 to 24 months from the date the Bill was passed in Dewan Negara last July 25. We expect the date of implementation to be by July 2021,” he said.

Azhar was speaking to reporters here after an engagement session with political parties and non-governmental bodies here today.

He said that the new automatic voter registration and 18-year-olds were among the biggest concerns of the participants of the session.

He said that the EC was working on meeting the relevant parties in order to facilitate the process.

Meanwhile, to attend to the needs of the increased number of voters to 22.7 million voters, the EC is also in the midst of updating its voting districts.

“We will coordinate all the needs of the voting centres and increase the numbers in appropriate areas,” he said.

At the moment, candidates aged 18 or above, still can’t vote.

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