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Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) is planning to register voters door-to-door to ensure the accuracy of voter lists, a senior official told parliament on Monday.
Hla Myint, the official, made the remark in response to a question from Nay Myo Htet, a lower house MP for Rangoon’s Kyauktada Township, regarding the commission’s plan to ensure accurate voter lists in the future.
He said the UEC has made preparations for door-to-door voter registration, based on the voter list used in the 2015 elections, in cooperation with local government authorities. Moreover, he said, the commission is also planning to educate voters through broadcast media, posters and leaflets.
The UEC came under criticism during last year’s elections for discrepancies in the voter lists, such as misspelled names, incorrect birth dates, duplicated personal information and names of deceased people appearing in the lists.
In response to the criticism, UEC officials said at the time that it was up to the public to correct any erroneous information.
“If they don’t report them now, the errors will remain on the lists,” the UEC’s Win Kyi told DVB last June, when reports of irregularities started to emerge.
“If they want to vote, then they should report irregularities to be corrected. If a name doesn’t appear on the lists, then apply for it. This is their responsibility and if they don’t do it, we cannot help them,” he added.
However, some critics accused the commission of failing to revise the lists. “The UEC repeatedly publishes erroneous voter lists, and despite knowing this they refuse to admit their mistake or investigate the issue at the ground level,” said Mahn Johnny, a lower house MP for the National League for Democracy.
Concerns about the commission’s handling of the voter lists persisted in the months leading up to the 8 November election date, with many Burmese voters living overseas complaining of chaotic conditions when they attempted to cast their ballots in advance polls.