By S. Harrish
YOUTHS aged 18 to 20 will not be able to vote in elections if it is held before September next year.
This is due to the Election Commission postponing the implementation of Undi18, including automatic voter registration to Sept 1, next year.
The EC said there are about 5.6 million Malaysians above 18 years but not registered as voters.
Of that number, 1.2 million are aged between 18 and 20 while the other 4.4 million are aged 21 and above.
EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said in a statement that despite EC’s efforts to implement Undi18, its preparations were affected due to Covid-19 and the movement control orders.
The next general election is due by September 2023, with Parliament’s tenure ending in July that year.
However elections are expected to held sooner, possibly after the Emergency ends in August this year.
Ghani said an interim report on the Undi18 implementation would be published in September this year.
In 2019, Parliament unanimously approved amendments to lower the voting age, as well as the age for election candidacy to 18.
It also allows automatic voter registration.
However, then-EC chairperson Datuk Azhar Harun said that it would take time for the amendments to be implemented, with the exception of allowing 18-year-olds to contest as candidates.
In November last year, Law Minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan had said that automatic voter registration of 18-year-olds was expected to be in place by July this year.