It is curious that there are many Malaysians who are not registered voters in Malaysia. Today, I volunteered to help man a voter registration booth to help my fellow Malaysians get registered as voters. I consider this a civic duty in helping some people fulfill their obligation to vote.
I have often wondered why it is so difficult to get people registered as voters. We have a national ID record system that keeps track of everyone’s personal details. It should be a simple matter of automagically converting everyone who is above the age of 21 as voters. That should be fairly trivial and easy. Unfortunately, things do not work like that in Malaysia.
At home, everyone has to actually register themselves as voters by filling up a paper form. We are not even able to do it online. It has been ages since I filled up my voter registration form. So, just before I manned the booth, I was given a short briefing on how to actually fill it up. I was quite surprised that the form was a fairly difficult one to fill. I have never seen a more badly designed form than this voter registration form.
I have never actually seen the nomination papers but if these voter registration forms are anything to go by, I can begin to understand how some politicians can have problems filling up the nomination forms resulting in their automatic disqualification. The voter registration form could have had a better user-interface in so very many ways.
Anyway, after many hours of manning the booth, we ultimately hit our quota by the end. So, it was a worthwhile pursuit. I got to meet a few interesting people. I will probably try to do it again next week. I’ll probably help a few more weeks just for the heck of it – until I find some other thing to occupy my weekends with.