A second polling/counting agent (PACA) steps forward. He explains why Anwar Ibrahim made this controversial tweet on 5th May.
Premature? Psychological warfare? Neither. In Klieo Lee’s story, he explains how Anwar (and PR) knew the results beforehand, and why “unofficial results” of PR’s victory are actually the true results of Malaysia’s 13th General Election.
Why was Pakatan Rakyat so confident they have won even before the official announcement was made to the public? How would they know? What actually happens during vote counting?
I am sharing this based on my PACA training and my experience as a counting agent for PRU13. Sorry it’s so long or any spelling/grammer mistakes, too lazy to edit :p
Some things you may want to know (or you can jump straight to the counting process):-
Polling centre- the school where you vote.
Saluran- the classroom where you vote. Saluran 1 for the eldest and it goes on.
Returning officer/ Ketua Tempat Mengundi (KTM) – Elected by EC and one will stationed in every Saluran. A few other people elected by the EC will be helping the KTM.
Polling agents (one each to represent their own party) – Elected by own party. Stationed at each Saluran. Their job is to check against the Electoral roll and cancel off the names of those who came to vote, ensure the voting goes smoothly (no hanky-panky) in their Saluran. The last polling agent on duty will check and tally the no.of voters that came to vote against the no.of ballot papers issued by the kerani, witness the sealing of the ballot boxes. Get official Borang 13 from KTM.
Counting agents (one each to represent their own party) – Elected by own party. Stationed at each Saluran. They can be counting votes for both DUN and Parliament OR if counting is going on simultaneously for both DUN and Parliament, extra counting agent will be brought in to help monitor each one. Their job is to count votes, check for spoilt votes (undi rosak), witness resealing of ballot boxes. Get official Borang 14 from KTM.
Station Master/ Ketua Station – Elected by party candidate to be stationed at each polling centre. Polling and counting agents will report to them.
Borang 13 (one form for each saluran) – Contain details like total of ballot papers the EC is holding in each saluran, the serial no. of the ballot papers, no. of ballot papers issued to voters that came to the Saluran, no. of ballot papers spoilt e.g torned, dirty, no. of unused ballot papers etc. The polling agent will cross check their count of total voters that came with the no. of ballot papers given out. All these must tally and add up to ensure no missing or extra ballot papers in each Saluran. The KTM and the polling agents of each party will sign the Borang 13. From this form, we will know the no. of total vote casts and supposed to be in the ballot boxes. Each polling agent will take the Borang 13 and pass it to the counting agent.
Borang 14 (one for each Saluran) This is a form where the result of the counting is recorded, confirmed and signed by the KTM and the counting agents of each party. It contains details of the no. of votes each candidate acquired, no. of undi rosak and the total of ballot papers counted. Counting agents will get an official copy and hand it over to their Station Master.
Time to cast vote by the public will end at 5.00pm (at some places at 4.30pm) sharp. The counting agents will be waiting outside to take over the job of the polling agents (if lack of manpower, the last polling agent is also the counting agent).
At 5.00pm sharp the ballot boxes will be sealed and polling agents will be asked to leave the room for half an hour so the KTM can rearrange the tables for vote counting and have a short break. At this time, polling/counting agents will continue to keep an eye on the ballot boxes from the outside. Agents can request to stay in the room with the ballot boxes if they can’t see the ballot boxes or what’s happening in the Saluran clearly from the outside.
Counting agents will be seated about a few feet away from the KTM’s table where the votes will be counted. On the KTM’s table, there will be 4 kinds of empty boxes. 1 box for Undi Belum Dikira (uncounted votes), 1 box for Undi Ragu (doubtful votes), 1 box for Undi Rosak (spoilt votes) and 1 box for each party. All boxes will be clearly placed if front for the counting agents to see.
When all is ready, the KTM will remove the seal of the ballot box and emptied it into the Undi Belum Dikira box. They will count the amount of ballot papers and it should tally with the no. of ballot papers issued that is stated in the Borang 13. If there are missing ballot papers, the difference of less than 10 pieces are acceptable BUT if there are EXTRA (even 1) cannot be accepted and counting agents are supposed to inform the Station Master.
Counting agents are not allowed to touch the ballot papers. The KTM will be holding up each ballot paper for the counting agents to see and read out who the vote went to and placed the ballot paper into the respective party’s box. If there’s any vote that is doubtful, it will be placed into the Undi Ragu box (and if it is OBVIOUS it is a spoilt vote, it will be placed straight into the Undi Rosak box) This will continue until all ballot papers have been read out and shown to the counting agents.
Counting agents will jot down each vote for their party and also each vote for the other party as it is read out by the KTM.
Now, moving on to the ballot papers in the Undi Ragu box. This is where counting agents can defend each vote for their own party. If the other counting agent disagrees, the final decision lies in the hands of the KTM. From my experience most spoilt votes are pretty obvious. After this, ballot papers will either go into the party’s box or into the Undi Rosak box.
If the losing party loss by 4% or less to the other party, a recount can and should be requested by the counting agent.
If everything is done, the KTM and team will count the votes in all boxes. And it should tally with the amount of ballot papers counted earlier and in Borang 13.
The KTM will then issue the Borang 14. This very important form states the total votes counted, no. of votes that each candidate acquired and amount of spoilt votes in each Saluran. The KTM and all counting agents MUST sign this form.
After witnessing the resealing of the ballot boxes with all the ballot papers in it, counting agents will sign on the sticker and tag on the ballot box.
With all these done, the Station Master will collect the Borang 14 from all Saluran’s counting agents. The candidate can then add up the entire no. of votes acquired from each Saluran according to the Borang 14 and get the total no. of votes they acquired.
From the Borang 14, Pakatan Rakyat, Barisan Nasional and any independent candidate will know the accurate result even before the official result is announced to the public.
What happens after the ballot boxes left the polling station, any recount request by the losing candidate etc does not involve the counting agents in that polling station anymore.
Now you should understand why Pakatan Rakyat confidently announced their win before the official announcement, why they were shocked that the amount of votes tallied and confirmed in the polling stations are so different from the recounts and the official result and why they are shouting foul play.