What does it look like to vote in Malaysia?

What does it look like to vote in Malaysia?
f/3.2, 1/40 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

This woman slides her ballot into the local election box.

On Sunday Malaysians went to to the polls for this country’s 13th general election. This election proved to the the closet in the country’s history and the largest turn out. If you are a readers in the West, you might the whole world uses voting machines and punch cards. But here in Malaysia voting was a little more low tech. Here is a peak of how votes were cast in my district.

f/3.2, 1/900 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Voter arrive at a local school to cast their votes. This election voter turnout was the highest in Malaysia’s history.

 

f/3.2, 1/140 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Voters check in at the local school to cast their votes.

 

f/3.6, 1/125 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Security watches as voters line up to vote in the 13th general election of Malaysia.

 

f/3.6, 1/35 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Voters check-in and received their paper ballots. The ballots have both a name and a party symbol printed on them.

 

f/3.6, 1/30 sec, at 14mm, 320 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Election official checks to see if the voter has voted previously by looking for ink marks on her fingers.

 

f/3.6, 1/30 sec, at 14mm, 320 ISO, on a X-Pro1

A voters receive indelible ink on their left forefinger to signify they have voted.

 

f/3.6, 1/30 sec, at 14mm, 250 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Indelible ink is painted on the left forefinger of each voter to signify they have cast their vote.

 

f/3.6, 1/40 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

The voter then casts their paper ballot in the local election collection box. The ruler is to make sure it goes in without anyone else touching the ballot.

 

f/3.6, 1/40 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

This voter is casting her ballot in the parliamentary election ballot box.

 

f/3.6, 1/30 sec, at 14mm, 250 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Mr Thong Yip checks in to cast his vote in the 13th general election of Malaysia.

 

f/3.6, 1/30 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Mr. Thong Yip has his finger marked to signify he has voted.

 

f/3.2, 1/40 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Mr. Thong Yip casting his vote int he 13th general election of Malaysia.

 

f/3.6, 1/60 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Mr. Thong Yip shows off his marked finger signifying he has voted.

 

 On a technical note: All photos in this series were taken with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the Fujinon 14mm. You can rollover the image for the EXIF data.

 

 

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About The Author

Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer. In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.

3 Comments

  1. James

    Voting machines? Apart from the USA, what western countries have you seen using those?

    Reply
    • Matt

      According to the Wikipedia article Electronic Voting Examples, “Electronic voting in Belgium started in 1991… Ireland bought voting machines from the Dutch company Nedap for about €40 million… From the late nineties until 2007, voting machines were used extensively (in the Netherlands) during elections.” So there are a few and that is just “electronic voting machines. I was just referring to any voting machine, even the kind you flip a manual switch in. The point of the photo essay was to show my readers the mechanism that other countries use to vote. But, frankly, I made the assumption about voting machines in the West. Not many people get to actually be in and around the voting booths of another country during its national election. Personally, I have only voted in the United State, as that is the only country I am a citizen of and I never had my finger “inked” to show I voted. I have only seen that in India, Malaysia and Indonesia though I know there are numerous countries that do use it.

      Reply
  2. Bashar

    This is amazing, thank you for sharing with us another different experience,really exotic, informative and amazing. Also, that 14 mm perspective is different, not sure how much I like it, but I appreciate the challenge of the experience shooting with it, it must be really hard to frame in such a busy situation, unlike narrower focals…

    Reply

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