Myanmar Races to Repair Outdated, Erroneous Voter Lists Ahead of November Poll

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Myanmar officials are trying to sort out dated voter lists from the three-month run-up into November polls, prompting nation leader Aung San Suu Kyi to predict about the federal election commission to quickly clean up the mistakes.

Myanmar election government are already trying hard to guarantee voting can happen in many military battle zones and beneath coronavirus states from the state of 54 million individuals. However, voter rolls published in people on July 25 didn’t spare even among Aung San Suu Kyi’s cabinet ministers from several mistakes.

“It got incorrect info regarding my loved ones,” explained Thein Swe, Myanmar’s Minister of Labor, Immigration and Population.

“My spouse’s name isn’t right, and also the name of my daughter-in-law’s grandma who passed off is among the list using a date of arrival,” he advised a video conference meeting State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday.

Aung San Suu Kyi urged the government departments along with also the Union Election Commission (UEC) to work together to fix the mistakes on the lists.

“In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen reports of incomplete or incorrect voter lists,” she explained during the videoconference. “There are various reports of this. That is what we need to concentrate on fixing”

Voter rolls publicly published by the UEC About July 25 in cities such as review by Republicans were scheduled to return Friday, but may stay in position until Aug. 14 so people have sufficient time to document correction requests.

Election subcommission members operating together with workers in the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population and the General Administration Department during Myanmar gathered the preliminary rolls.

Missing Republicans

There are other reports which the lists, issued in townships throughout the nation, comprise incorrect titles or birthdates and comprise deceased voters. Some titles of Republicans are missing from the rolls.

Hla Myint, a resident of this industrial capital Yangon’s Insein township, said none of his own relatives over the time of 18 are contained on the local voter record and that he’s had to reapply to be included.

“We had been contained for its 2015 election, although maybe not to its 2020 election,” he told RFA earlier this past week.

Local election officials advised Hla Myint he along with his family members weren’t on the record since they weren’t contained on a single to get a prior municipal election.

“They gave us a form to reapply. We filed it,” he explained.

Tun Aung Khine in the Kachin State Election Commission said neighborhood voter lists there were also compiled from data from a voter poll during a predetermined time period, but still might not be complete.

“Some households weren’t present in their houses while the poll has been conducted,” he explained. “Since we gathered information during the specified time, if they missed the surveyors, then their titles would not be on the record ”

Voter lists have been compiled with the objective of granting extensive accessibility to most voters on the floor, instead of deriving data from household household registration documents, Thein Swe explained.

Officials will fix mistakes on the lists prior to election police exemption the rolls in October, he added.

Myint Naing, a part of this president-appointed, national-level UEC, that organizes and manages elections in Myanmar, stated that the compilation of voter lists relies on family registrations counted in the census in addition to by on-the-ground surveys.

“If households have their family registration listing documents, we then count that listing; however in case the real folks don’t match those on the listing, then we do not rely,” he explained during the videoconference.

“Therefore, I’m happy with all the means of counting the Republicans. It’s prevented duplicate counting, but in addition it’s led to some mistakes,” he added.

Members of the National League for Democracy test voter lists through a door-to-door visit as part of a voter education campaign in Yangon, June 29, 2015.
Charge: AFP

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Duty to vote

Mya Nandar Thin, an election adviser in the election monitoring team New Myanmar Foundation, urges at least one member of every family assess the voter lists and advocate their acquaintances to do the same.

The botched voter lists arrive in the middle of discussions on Facebook regarding whether Republicans should combine a No Vote effort to sit the election out.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who’s up for reelection for its seat representing Yangon’s Kawhmu township, said people that are qualified to vote have a duty to do so.

“Everybody who’s turned 18 and has been born to parents of domestic cultural groups gets the right to vote,” she explained during the videoconference. “They have the obligation to votein my view. This usually means taking responsibility to your nation.”

“Abstaining from voting simply because you do not enjoy the political strategy means being reckless,” she added, noting that Myanmar taxpayers have just 12 events to vote from era 18 into 80 and everyone should benefit from this to guarantee a better future for the nation.

As of Thursday, more than 6.6 million people assessed the UEC’s first lists published at administrative offices at townships, villages, and wards around Myanmar. Overall, about 37.5 million voters are eligible to cast ballots from the 2020 elections.

UEC member Myint Naing said that he was happy with the turnout of the men and women who assessed the lists and that accurate and complete lists could be issued following corrections.

Virtually 100 political parties have put forward candidates for the Nov. 8 elections — probably a hard fought competition with contenders in the popular judgment National League for Democracy (NLD) party, the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party, and lots of cultural parties.

Producing true preliminary voter rolls can be proving to be an issue in armed conflict zones.

The lists can’t be posted publicly in 15 village-tracts without a administrative bodies in southern northern Rakhine country where Myanmar forces are battling with the rebel Arakan Army (AA), the online journal The Irrawaddy reported, citing the Rakhine StateElection Subcommission.

Similarly, first voter lists wouldn’t be able to be published in many of neighboring Chin country’s Paletwa township, in which both armies have also participated in clashes.

The past general elections

The UEC made the nation’s first digitized voter roster for the 2015 general elections according to taxpayer dwelling records held by the General Administration Department and the Immigration Ministry, based on a April 2019 report on Myanmar’s elections from the Washington-based United States Institute of Peace.

However, the information, which in most cases wasn’t accurate or up-to-date, prompted worries that the derivative voter record was going to stop voters from casting ballots. It was just after several voter lists were displayed and upgraded that international observers of the election reasoned that not many voters were turned away on Friday afternoon rather than being included on the rolls,” the report stated.

Currently, nevertheless, Myanmar confronts the challenge of upgrading the 2015 voter lists to comprise 5 million young voters eligible to cast ballots in 2020, eliminating individuals who’ve died, accounting for undocumented migrants, and managing requests for the transport of votes and progress votes from overseas, the think tank said.

“A faulty voter record in 2020 would ignite battle over disputes from shedding opposition candidates or parties and undermine the validity of the outcomes in certain constituencies,” the report stated.

It went on to say the UEC doesn’t have the funds to upgrade 2020 voter lists correctly and that Myanmar’s federal parliament would not probably increase funding to guarantee accurate and inclusive voter lists.

Reported by Nay Myo Htun, Phyu Phyu Khine, and Waiyan Moe Myint for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Written in English from Roseanne Gerin.


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