During the 15th General Election (GE15), a polling center in Gombak experienced a blackout. This incident then reminded Malaysians about the infamous ‘blackout’ in the GE13, as well as the possible vote manipulation by certain political parties.
Responding to the matter, the Election Commission (SPR) uploaded a video on its Facebook page, with its officer explaining that manipulation would not occur due to the stringent vote-counting process.
“Speculation arouse because many did not understand the vote counting process,” the SPR officer said.
According to the officer, all ballot paper comes with a serial number and this is to enable the SPR officers to ‘trace’ if someone added ballot paper during the vote counting process.
“For example, for Saluran one, the serial number is 1 to 300, and Saluran 2 is 300 to 600,” he said.
During the count, the officers will count each and every vote and make sure that all the ballot papers belong to the correct Saluran.
If the officers detected extra ballot papers, they will refer back to the serial number to be returned to the correct channel.
“We have to understand that there are many procedures in the vote counting process before it starts.”
“All these processes are also done in front of the vote counting agents (PACA) who are the representatives sent by all the candidates. That’s what we need to understand first,” he said.
Gombak vote ballots tally
During the count at the Kolej Vokasional Gombak polling center, a lighting struck and a blackout.
The Gombak Parliament Election Commission (EC) Managing Officer Nor Azlina Abd Aziz later confirmed the incident and said that the power outage occurred for only two minutes before they resolved it.
She also said that the voting process was completed without any issues noted and that the votes tallied.
Meanwhile, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) explained the blackout was due to an internal damage on the user’s side.