The Parliament, on Tuesday, passed an amendment to the clause on Local Council Elections Act regarding invalid ballots.
The Local Council Elections Act, at present, establishes that if the number of candidates check marked on any section of a ballot paper exceeds the required number of candidates, then the entire ballot paper will be declared invalid.
Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam presented an amendment to the clause, citing that it exposed voters who were required to vote for more than one electoral position to situations where all their votes may be declared invalid by default if they over voted in even one section.
The amendment establishes that if the candidates check marked on a ballot paper exceeds the required number of candidates, only the section which has the excess of votes, and not the entire ballot paper will be declared invalid.
The amendment was passed with the unanimous consensus of 58 parliamentarians on Tuesday afternoon.
All work pertaining to the bill, including the preliminary debate and the committee review, was conducted in a single day.
It came after the Elections Commission (EC) asked the Parliament to expedite the bill and pass it in time for the local council elections on April 4.
The amendment will take effect the moment its passed, ratified, and published on the Government Gazette.