KUALA KRAI, 14 July 2009: Polling for the Manik Urai by-election began today at 8am at nine polling stations and would continue until 5pm. As of 1pm today, voter turnout was about 76%, or 9,359 of the 12,293 registered voters.
As both PAS candidate Mohd Fauzi Abdullah and Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat are voters in the neighbouring Guchil state seat, neither are voting today. However, both have been visiting polling stations, with Mohd Fauzi starting with Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Perial, and Tuan Aziz paying a visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Manik Urai Baru.
Yesterday, Election Commission (EC) chairperson Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof told reporters that he expected an 85% voter turnout in Manik Urai, a 1% increase from the 2008 general election voter turnout for this rural state seat in Kelantan.
However, with brisk voting today, Aziz said voter turnout could reach up to 90%, which would make it the highest turnout in Peninsular Malaysia so far.
Voters in Manik Urai are predominantly Malay Muslim, and are largely rubber tappers and fisherfolk.
Yesterday, Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat declared 14 July as a state public holiday to facilitate voting.
“We expect the results to be announced at 8pm,” the EC’s Aziz said, adding that they would probably have the results earlier, but would wait until after maghrib prayers.