My Assigned Polling Station is Very Far. Can I Go to a Nearer One Instead?: We Answer Your GE2020 Polling Day Questions
"I'm scared that there will be a lot of people at the polling station and I might get COVID-19" are other of frequently asked questions by the public.
There’s no question too dumb, too outrageous, or too insignificant, at least not in our books.
Voting is a big responsibility, after all. And especially if you are doing it for the first time, it’s not surprising to have many questions.
Which is why we’ve done up our own in-depth FAQ we hope would cover all your queries that you may have when casting your vote for Singapore on Polling Day.
In this edition of the FAQ, we have your GE2020 Polling Day Questions answered by delving into all things about the Polling Day and the all-so-important polling card.
GE2020 Polling Day Questions Answered
1. How do I know if I need to vote?
All Singapore citizens above the age of 21 before March 1, 2020 are required to vote. There are various ways you can check your voting eligibility:
- Online at the Elections Department (ELD) website
- At community centres or clubs
- At the Elections Department office
- Call ELD’s hotline: 1800 225 5353
- At Singapore overseas missions that serve as overseas polling stations
On Polling Day, you would also need to bring along your poll card, which has your electoral division and allotted polling station. Here is what it looks like:
2. I didn’t get a poll card, what does that mean?
You need to check that you are an eligible voter first and that your electoral division is contested. If so, you will receive your poll card through the mail, two to three days after Nomination Day.
Do ensure that your residential address registered with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority is the latest address.
If you still do not receive your poll card before Polling Day, you may view or print your ePoll card at ELD’s Voter Services using a SingPass login.
Alternatively, you may head to any community centre or club for assistance or go to the Elections Department to print your ePoll card.
3. What if the details on my poll card are wrong?
If the details on your poll card are incorrect, you can call the ELD or visit any community centre or club to rectify the issue.
If you have changed your name on your NRIC and it is different from the one found on the poll card, you are still eligible to vote. You will need to produce your original NRIC and the deed poll showing your name change to the Election Officials.
The Election Officials may also require you to sign a declaration of identity form before the issuance of a ballot paper. This is to ensure that there is no impersonation.
4. How do I find out where I’m supposed to vote at?
Besides checking your allotted voting station on your poll card, you can also check where you are supposed to vote at on the ELD’s website.
Simply enter your NRIC number and you will be able to find out your electoral division, polling station and allotted time-band. There’s also a live queue status you can check before you head down to vote.
5. The polling station I’m allocated to is very far and there is a nearer one. Can I go there instead?
You are not allowed to vote at any other polling station except the one you are assigned to, as stated in your poll card.
6. What if I forget to bring my poll card to the polling station?
You can still vote even if you have forgotten to bring your polling card. You must however, have your original NRIC/passport with you and can only go to your designated polling station.
You will have to inform the election official at the polling station that you did not bring your poll card. He or she will then direct you to the Enquiry Counter to issue you a replacement poll card.
7. I’m scared that there will be a lot of people at the polling station and I might get COVID-19. Can I not go down physically to vote?
Several safety measures have been introduced to ensure that voters are safe while polling.
All voters would be subjected to temperature screening. They will also be asked to sanitise their hands and put on a pair of disposable gloves before receiving their ballot paper.
To reduce the risk of crowding, more polling stations would be set up to reduce the number of voters at each location and social distancing measures would be in place.
Two-hour time slots would be allocated to each voter, which is indicated on their poll card. However, the 8am to 12pm slots will be reserved for seniors aged 65 and above.
Unless you feel unwell and are unable to vote on polling day, it is mandatory for qualified electors to vote.
8. I have to work on that day. Can I sign an authorisation form for someone else to vote on my behalf?
Under the law, all employers must give employees, who are eligible to vote, a reasonable amount of time for voting. Employees are advised to inform their employers beforehand if they need to request for time off to vote.
You are required to vote in-person to maintain voting secrecy, no proxies allowed.
9. What if I fall sick and can’t go to the polling station?
An illness is included as a valid reason for not voting. In the event that you fall sick and are unable to vote on Polling Day, you may submit an online application using your SingPass to restore your name in the Registers of Electors after the election.
The fee of $50 will also be waived if you have a valid reason for not voting.
10. There are a lot of people in my neighbourhood. Is the queue going to be very long?
The ELD has introduced a new electronic voter registration process, where election officials will scan the NRIC of voters to register them. The process will reduce the waiting time compared to previous years.
Voters can also check the polling station’s queue status via VoteQ.gowhere.gov.sg before heading over to cast their votes.
11. I’m not interested in voting. What happens if I don’t vote?
If you do not vote on Polling Day, your name will be removed from the Registers of Electors after the election.
This means that you will also not be allowed to vote at subsequent presidential and parliamentary elections unless your name is restored.
If you do not have a valid reason for not voting, you will have to pay a fee of $50.
This article was first published in AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.