MELAKA: The Election Commission (EC) has set Nov 20 as polling day for the Melaka state election.

Nomination day is Nov 8 and early polling will be held on Nov 16.

This was announced by EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh at a press conference after chairing a special EC meeting on the Melaka state election here today.

The Melaka State Legislative Assembly has 28 seats.

Abdul Ghani said EC has appointed 28 returning officers and 80 assistant returning officers for the state election.

“For the purpose of monitoring campaign activities throughout the election campaign period, EC has set up 28 election task forces comprising representatives of the Royal Malaysia Police, local authorities and agents of candidates,“ he said.

He said the Supplementary Electoral Roll (RDPT) of Second Quarter 2021 (ST2/2021), which was updated as at Oct 3, 2021, will be used for the state election.

The electoral roll contains 495,196 voters, and EC is targeting a 70 percent voter turnout for the state polls.

He said the roll comprises 482,550 regular voters, 10,191 military personnel and their spouses, 2,349 police personnel and 106 absent voters who are overseas.

Asked on the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the polls, Abdul Ghani said voters were encouraged to cast their ballots according to recommended time slots to prevent too many people from gathering at polling stations.

“We will issue the proposed times for voting through our system just like the MySejahtera application. Voters should avoid going out all together in the morning. If possible, let senior citizens vote in the morning and the younger people in the afternoon.

“We have strict SOP at polling centres. The conditions include completing two doses of vaccination, wearing of face masks and physical distancing. Therefore, we urge all voters to get themselves vaccinated ... there is still time,” he added.

He said the guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 would be based on the recommendations and advice of the National Security Council, Health Ministry and police.

The Melaka state assembly was dissolved on Oct 4 after four representatives withdrew their support for the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

The four former assemblymen are Datuk Seri Idris Haron (BN-Sungai Udang), Datuk Nor Azman Hassan (BN-Pantai Kundor), Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Independent-Pengkalan Batu) and Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Bersatu-Telok Mas). — Bernama