Singapore GE2020: A Guide for Polling Day

Whether you’re a first time voter or an experienced one, this year’s elections will be conducted slightly differently. While we are in the midst of Phase 2 after the Circuit Breaker, there are several safety precautions to keep in mind and following this year on 10 July 2020.

Table of Contents

To be eligible to vote, you must be

  • A Singaporean citizen (holder of the pink NRIC)
  • 21 Years Old and above (As of 10 July 2020)
  • Not disqualified from being an elector under any prevailing law
  • Residing in Singapore with their residential address on their IC

OR

  • Residing overseas with their overseas address on their IC and has a contact address in Singapore that is registered with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)

To double confirm that you are eligible to vote, you can also check online with your SingPass or Date of Issue NRIC.

You will get your polling card in the mail prior to polling day.

When / Where can I vote?

Voting commences at 8AM on 10 July and ends at 8PM.

This year on your polling card, you should have an allocated time band (a 2 hour time period) recommended to you. This is part of the social distancing precautions for this year so try your best to adhere to this time slot!

You will also have an allocated polling centre on your polling card. Do note that you are only able to vote at this polling station!

Remember! It is a polling day is a Public Holiday. Should you have work, be sure to request for a some time off to submit your vote. Your employer must give you a reasonable amount of time to submit your vote.

You can also check the queue situation at your polling station via voteq.gowhere on the polling day itself.

Safety measures

The procedure prior to entering the polling station will be very similar to that of when you enter a shopping mall.

  1. Mask must be worn at all times
  2. Temperature screening
  3. Contact tracing
    • Voters need not use the SafeEntry application as the e-Registration logs the time when you have registered
  4. Safe distancing within the polling station
    • Keep 1 metre apart from others at all times
  5. E-Registration will reduce time spent in the polling station to no more than 5 minutes
    • ICs will also be scanned by voters so there will be no contact with the election officials
  6. Prior to receiving the ballot paper, be sure to sanitise your hands on put on disposable gloves
  7. You may bring your own pen to mark the ballot paper instead of using the self-inking “X” pen that will be shared by other voters

Flow on Polling Day

To ensure that you follow the safety measures and submit your vote, here’s a rough breakdown of the flow polling day.

Image from GOV.SG

Tips for a smooth voting process

1. Travel Light

You can even go there empty handed with just your IC/Passport, Polling card and mask!

Take note of some items that are PROHIBITED in the polling station:

  • Cameras
  • Video Cameras
  • Alcohol
  • Sharp Objects
  • Campaign Material
  • Large Bags

2. Do not bring children or pets to the voting station

Guide dogs are an exception!

3. Do not use your phone in the polling station

4. Do not bring any document or material or wear anything affiliated with a political party or candidate

5. Do not sign or write anything on the ballot paper by which you may be identified

If you do so, your vote won’t be counted.

6. Don’t bring the ballot paper out of the polling station

This is an offence!

FAQs regarding voting

What happens if I don’t vote?

If you are eligible to vote during the General Election but fail to vote, your name will be removed from the Registers of Electors after the election. This means that you will no longer be able to vote in the following round of election and you’ll be considered a “non-voter”.

However, you can apply to have your name re-registered to be eligible to vote during the next General Election.

Can I vote if I am overseas?

Yes, you can! As long as you are in the Registers of Electors and have your overseas address on your IC as well as a contact address in Singapore that is registered with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), you may register to be an overseas elector.

There will be 10 overseas polling stations in:

  1. Beijing
  2. Shanghai
  3. Canberra
  4. Dubai
  5. Hong Kong
  6. Tokyo
  7. London
  8. Ney York
  9. San Francisco
  10. Washington

The ELD is working with the overseas polling stations to implement the necessary safety measures to ensure a safe voting environment. Depending on the overseas authority and COVID-19 situation in the 10 cities, there may be changes made regarding the polling station.

Details on the voting procedures will be sent to registered overseas voters.

You may register here with your SingPass or Date of Issue NRIC.

Can someone else vote for me?

No! Your vote must be submitted in person and just to be clear, it is an offence to impersonate another voter. So be sure to only submit your vote on polling day! Your vote is also secret and should not be shared with anyone else, not even your parents.

People with disabilities who are unable to mark the ballot paper themselves may seek assistance from the election officials at the polling station.

Can I vote if I am feeling unwell?

Unfortunately, Singaporeans who are COVID-19 patients or on Quarantine Order (QO) for COVID-19 will not be allowed to vote. As such, your names will be removed from the Registers of Electors after the elections. But fret not! You’re names will automatically be restored after the election without penalty.

Singaporeans who are under Stay Home Notice (SHN) and those who are unwell are advised not to vote. If you choose not to vote, your name will be removed from the Register of Electors and you will have to apply for your name to be restored after the election without penalty.

There will be special arrangements for Singaporeans under SHN and those who are unwell who wish to vote. Instead of arriving at the voting station anytime during the voting hours, the ELD has scheduled a special voting hour from 7PM-8PM. If you are unwell and show up before 7PM, you will be asked to go home and return to the polling station so save yourself the trip to and fro.

For more information regarding voting arrangements for Singaporeans who are unwell, you may refer to this press release by the Elections Department Singapore.

What if my polling card has wrong details?

Call the Elections Department OR visit any Community Centre/Club to get the information corrected and receive a new polling card. DO NOT write on your polling card or change the details yourself.

Polling card vs Ballot paper

If it’s your first time voting, I think it’s good to clarify what these two cards are.

Your polling card contains details such as your full name, residential address and polling station. This card is for you to register at the voting station so that you can obtain the balloting card. Be sure to also have your Identification Card (IC) ready during the registeration.

Once you have registered, you will receive the ballot paper which has the political parties that are contesting in your electoral division. On the ballot card, mark your choice with an “X”.

Now that you know how to prepare for the upcoming elections, it is time to get ready to do our civic duty as Singaporeans! After submitting your vote, treat yourself to a night safe at home on this public holiday.

References:

Elections Department Singapore (ELD)

Gov.sg

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