ELD to review processes that caused delays at polling stations
Elections Department apologises to voters for the inconvenience, will investigate delays at several polling stations
The Elections Department (ELD) said yesterday it will conduct a thorough review of what went wrong on Polling Day last Friday that slowed down the voting process.
Long queues had formed at some polling stations from morning, and polling hours were eventually extended from 8pm to 10pm so more voters could cast their votes.
ELD apologised for the inconvenience caused to voters, especially to senior citizens, and acknowledged that measures put in place to protect the health of voters, candidates and officials had "reduced the efficiency voters were used to in previous elections".
Head of ELD Koh Siong Ling was responding to a forum letter published yesterday in The Straits Times.
The writer, Mr Dennis Tan Seow Koon, said he and his 89-year-old mother took about an hour to cast their votes at Jing Shan Primary School after they arrived there at about 9.30am.
In comparison, he said he took less than 10 minutes to vote in the 2015 General Election.
As part of precautions taken for this election, held during the Covid-19 outbreak, a morning slot was reserved for seniors aged 65 years and above, to minimise their interaction with younger voters.
Voters were also initially required to put on disposable gloves and sanitise their hands before they were given polling cards at polling stations.
Such measures contributed to long queues at several stations, including at Palm View Primary School in Sengkang, the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and at Jurong East Street 32.
Mr Koh yesterday noted that ELD had made adjustments to its processes on Polling Day "without compromising voter safety".
The requirement for voters to wear disposable gloves had added significantly to the time spent at polling stations.
"Therefore, we did away with the need to don disposable gloves since voters would have sanitised their hands a few times," he said.
The queue situation did improve, he added, and 70 per cent of polling stations had queues of fewer than 20 voters by 2pm.
Mr Koh also acknowledged feedback given about the difficulty in navigating the layout of certain polling stations, and said ELD "will certainly take this into account for future".
DID NOT GET TO VOTE
Yesterday, ELD said it had apologised to 13 voters staying in hotels for their 14-day stay-home notice period.
They did not get to vote because their names were inadvertently omitted from the list submitted by Marina Bay Sands to ELD at 6.30pm on Polling Day.
The 13 voters will have their names restored to the registers of electors without penalty, said ELD in response to queries.
A total of 790 Singaporeans had cast their votes at Marina Bay Sands and JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, which were designated as special polling stations.