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You Shouldn't Believe These 3 Messages Circulating On Social Media About GE14

No, your votes cannot be traced back to you.

Cover image via Moretify (edited)

By now, you've probably seen a few messages regarding the 14th general election (GE14) being circulated on social media but the contents of the messages might not be entirely true

Image via BERSIH 2.0

In a press statement released yesterday, 17 April, BERSIH 2.0 said that false information and misinformation have been circulated on WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter.

"Many are either outrightly misleading or incorrect," the statement wrote.

BERSIH 2.0 added that the inaccurate messages include:

  • ability to identify voters based on a serial number on the ballot paper.
  • methods on marking the ballot paper.
  • specific methods needed to protect people's votes.

BERSIH 2.0 stressed that these messages could undermine the right of voters in electing the next government.

To prevent that, here are a few false messages you should be aware of:

1. The cross on your ballot paper has to fill at least 75% of the box

False information regarding the checking of boxes on your ballot paper.

Image via BERSIH 2.0

According to Sin Chew, another similar message calls on voters to make sure their cross on the ballot paper "fills up" the entire box.

However, guidelines provided by the Election Commission (EC) on identifying dubious votes state that voters can actually fill up a box on the ballot paper with simple symbols as long as it clearly indicates that the vote is casted to a certain candidate.

You can also do the same in the boxes with either the candidates' names or the symbols they represent.

These are actually acceptable on your ballot paper.

Image via SPR Panduan Untuk Memutuskan Undi Ragu

A vote will only be deemed invalid if:

  • the 'X' you put down on the ballot paper crosses over to another candidate's box.
  • there are any funny symbols found on the ballot paper, such as stickman or smiley face.
  • any symbols or marks are found within more than one candidate's box.
  • there are any indication made on the ballot paper that may expose a voter's identity.

2. Your vote can be traced back to you

Image via Moretify

This message claims that election workers use pencils to jot down numbers on the back of ballot papers, with each number representing an individual. 

In response to this, Malay Mail Online (MMO) reported the Elections Academy as saying that votes are confidential and untraceable.

Furthermore, the serial number for ballot papers are different from the order of voters' names in the name list.

3. Nine Chinese young adults were arrested for spreading anti-government messages on social media

Image via Facebook

This message warned the Chinese community to not write or spread anti-government messages on social media so they do not suffer from the same fate as the nine Chinese young adults did. It also alleged that the nine young adults were detained in the Sungai Buloh jail for 60 days.

Moreover, this message was spread on Facebook and WhatsApp under the name of Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw.

Nonetheless, in an interview with Sin Chew, Seng Giaw denied posting that message on social media and urged members of the public to stop spreading it.

With the prevalence of false messages and misinformation ahead of GE14, BERSIH has urged members of the public to verify information that is distributed on social media

You can verify a suspicious message by calling the Elections Commission (03-8892 7200) or BERSIH 2.0 (03-79314444).

You can also reach out to BERSIH 2.0 on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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