Singapore Polling Day Holiday
The Singapore General Election takes place every 4 to 5 years. Every election, we will see candidates from different parties vying for a limited number of seats in the parliament. Polling Day is taken as a public holiday so that every Singaporean will be able to vote.
The purpose of polling day is to choose elected Members of the Parliament (MPs) for the various regions in Singapore. Candidates from various parties deliver speeches to assert their agendas, and citizens, depending on their choices and preferences, cast their votes to the desirable candidates. Mass election campaigns also take place, where candidates promote their ideologies and goals through speech, gatherings, rallies, etc.
The day before the election is known as the Cooling Period, where candidates cannot do any campaigns. Rather, citizens should use this time to reflect on their choices carefully before casting their votes to the right leader.
A person’s name should be included in the register of electors. For that, the following conditions should be fulfilled:
- The individual should be at least 21 years old.
- The person should have a pink NRIC, i.e., they should be a Singaporean citizen.
- The individual shouldn’t have been disqualified from being a voter from any prevailing laws
- Address Conditions:
- The individual should have a Singapore residential address on their NRIC.
- For Singaporeans residing abroad, they should have a contact address registered with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (Local Contact Address).
What to Do During Polling Day in Singapore
During the official polling day, voters will get a polling card and be assigned to a polling station. After reaching the polling station, they will need to show their NRIC to the officials, which will be scanned for the registration.
After a short queue, voters will get their ballot paper and will need to mark an ‘X’ on their choice. Finally, they should drop their ballot paper in the ballot box and leave the premises.
If they need support, a household member can accompany the elderly and differently-abled voters.
Singaporeans in foreign countries can vote if they have access to ten overseas voting polls in different parts of the world. To be eligible, they should fulfill all the other general voting criteria, and at the same time should have resided in Singapore for at least 30 days in the last three years.
The overseas voting polls are in Canberra (Australia), London (United Kingdom), Tokyo (Japan), Beijing (China), Washington DC (the USA), Hong Kong, Shanghai (China), Dubai (UAE), San Francisco (USA), and New York (the USA).
You can know more about Singapore overseas voting locations in the official portal of the Elections Department in Singapore.
How Will 2020 Polling Day Be Different Compared to Other Years?
The world is now still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is going to make this year’s elections different.
Political Parties will not be doing mass rallies because of the risks of social gathering. Rather, each candidate will be given airtime on various national channels. Furthermore, parties will be using Internet Marketing campaigns to garner voters.
For voters, wearing a mask at the polling station is compulsory. They will need to go through a temperature screening and sanitize their hands before passing their NRICs to the officials. Furthermore, voters will need to wear disposable gloves before receiving their ballot paper and dispose of the gloves after voting.
This year, there will be 1,100 polling stations, which is 220 more than the last General Elections. A single polling station will accommodate around 2,400 people. Citizens on Stay at Home notice will also get to vote in special polling stations.
The government is yet to decide on how to let people who failed the temperature screening vote and will release information to the public as soon as possible.