KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 ― The Melaka state election today has so far kicked off on a slow footing as voter turnout by midday was still below 50 per cent.
According to the Election Commission (EC), a total of 36 per cent of eligible voters have cast their ballots as at 12pm in the 15th Melaka state elections today compared to 27 per cent reported at 11am.
This was an increase of nine percentage points from the voter turnout recorded an hour earlier at 27 per cent.
How does this fare against recent snap elections?
By comparison, the most recent Sabah state election held in September 2020 saw a 41 per cent voter turnout recorded at midday, according to previous data provided by the EC.
When compared to Melaka's voter turnout at 11am, Sabah recorded 32 per cent an hour before noon.
If one were to go back further, the Slim by-election held just a month before last year saw a voter turnout of 39 per cent as of midday, with 29 per cent reported an hour before noon.
Meanwhile, the Chini by-election in July 2020 saw a 49 per cent turnout at 12pm, and 36 per cent at 11am.
Melaka has 495,196 registered voters and the EC had previously predicted a 70 per cent turnout for polling day.
A total of 217 polling centres involving 1,109 channels for the people of Melaka were opened at 8am in all 28 state constituencies until polling ends at 5.30pm.
Earlier, Malay Mail reported that the state election today has largely been dominated by elderly voters showing up in strong numbers especially in rural seats such as Asahan and Lendu.
Malay Mail’s observation showed that many of the young that were present at polling centres were merely there helping their elderly parents to their respective voting centres.
The state election seens Barisan Nasional (BN), Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) contesting in all 28 seats, Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) (five), Parti Perikatan India Muslim Nasional (Iman) (one) and Independent (22).
It is conducted in the new norm where public speeches, lectures, physical campaigns, door-to-door visits, walkabouts and face-to-face leaflet distribution, among others are not allowed.
The state polls were called following the dissolution of the Melaka State Legislative Assembly on Oct 4 when four of the assemblymen withdrew their support for the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.
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