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GE15: Is There Really A Dress Code For Voters?

GE15: Is There Really A Dress Code For Voters?

The Election Commission has never set a compulsory dress code for voters.

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First-time voters must have a lot of questions regarding this coming election (GE15). How to vote? What’s the first step? What to wear?

For some people, especially the fashion-conscious gen z, outfit check is a very ‘serious‘ topic. They could show up fashion show-ready, for all we know! We even saw OOTD themes for vaccination day!

So what should you wear on voting day?

According to the Election Commission’s (EC) regulations, there is no specific voting day dress code.

They have never imposed any rules regarding what to wear, apart from not wearing anything bearing the logos, symbols or names of political parties.

Confusion arose when a message regarding ‘dress code’ was circulated on social media in 2018, during the 14th General Election.

As reported by Malaymail in 2018, the EC Chairman refuted the message saying, “The EC would never prevent a voter from entering the polling station as long as he or she did not violate Section 26 (1) (g) of the Election Offences Act 1954.”

He further explained that the act states a voter is prohibited from entering the polling station if they wear any clothes or carry any equipment that displays the names of candidates, political party symbols, logos or images during polling day.

No person shall on polling day within a distance of fifty metres from the limits of any polling station and in a polling station wear, hold or carry any form or type of clothing, head covering ornament, rosette, water bottle or umbrella on which the name of a candidate or the name, emblem or symbol of any political party is printed or imprinted.

Section 26 (1) (g) of the Election Offences Act 1954

The EC also posted a brief explainer regarding the issue on their social media, back in 2018.

So… I can wear slippers?

Technically yes, as long as you don’t wear slippers with a BN or PKR logo on it. You’ll get into serious trouble if you do.

If you wanna show up as these Mat Kilau guys too, technically, you can. And also, no weapons are allowed, obviously.

Hey, apparently you can even cosplay at the polling station. These people definitely took the boring out of voting.

READ MORE: Sabahans Turned Out To Vote In Awesome Costumes & It’s ABSOLUTELY Legal

Sabahans during the Sabah state elections in 2020.
(Credit: Whatsapp)

But let’s stay on the safe side

Although they may say there’s no dress code, other people that are going to line up together with you would totally feel uncomfortable if you show up wearing very inappropriate clothes.

You can opt to wear traditional clothes if you’re feeling patriotic. Or you can wear something smart casual, or simply casual. It doesn’t matter as long as you don’t have any political logos on it.

Malay women turning up in baju kurung and kebaya to cast their votes at the 1969 general elections.
(Credit: NST)

However, based on previous elections, some people claimed they were denied entry because they wore shorts.

We don’t want our clothes to be the reason that we can’t cast our votes. That would be a total waste.

In all seriousness, do wear neutral clothing that is appropriate. Just don’t show up naked, that could actually land you in jail. For real.

Kadazan women in traditional outfits outside a polling station at Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah at the 1986 general elections (left). Excited first-time voters at the 1982 general elections (right).
(Credit: NST)

On another note, if you have zero knowledge of voting, it’s best you start with this article. It teaches you about the MySPR app and what’s in there. You can even study past election results from the app.

READ MORE: First Time Voting? Here’s Everything To Get You Started

If you wanna know what you’ll face at the polling station, read the below article. It’ll tell you the right way to cast your ballot and what you have to do at the polling station.

READ MORE: Democracy For Dummies: Vote Like A Pro During GE15

So Malaysians, please make informed choices and do go out and vote if you can because every vote matters.

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