GE2020 non-voter list available for inspection; list for part of Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC delayed because of error by election official

SINGAPORE – The list of voters who failed to cast their votes in July’s general election is available for inspection, but some voters in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC can do so only after Jan 10 next year.

The list of voters in one polling district in the GRC will be published later because of a mistake by an election official, said the Elections Department (ELD) on Monday (Oct 5).

The election official at the Elias Park Primary School Counting Centre “had inadvertently placed the copy of the register of electors for the polling district PN23 of the electoral division of Pasir Ris-Punggol… together with the counted ballot papers and other documents into the ballot box which was sealed”, the ELD said in a statement.

The sealed box is now kept in the Supreme Court vault, it added.

Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC saw a three-cornered fight that was won by the People’s Action Party team led by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean.

The ELD explained that under the Parliamentary Elections Act, all the sealed boxes containing counted ballot papers and documents relating to the general election, must be kept in safe custody until they are destroyed six months after the date of the poll.

“During the six-month period, only a judge of the High Court can order the sealed boxes to be opened and their contents inspected, and even then, it can only be for the purpose of instituting or maintaining a prosecution or an application to invalidate an election,” the ELD said.

President Halimah Yacob has directed the Returning Officer to retrieve the copy of the register of voters of the affected polling district on or after Jan 10 next year.

She also directed that the copy be destroyed no later than 30 days after it is retrieved.

After the list of non-voters is retrieved and published, the voters on the delayed list can apply in the same manner to have their names restored to the register of electors.

Eligible voters who failed to cast their votes on July 10 have been removed from the register, under the Parliamentary Elections Act. They are ineligible to vote or stand as a candidate in future elections if their names are not restored.

“However, a non-voter who was, on 10 July 2020, subject to a Covid-19 quarantine order or a requirement to not leave his or her residence (due to a stay-home order) is entitled to have his or her name restored to the relevant register of electors free,” said the ELD.

They need not apply to have their names restored, as the Registration Officer will do it automatically.

But non-voters with a medical certificate and had to stay home on July 10 will have to apply, and their names will be restored without penalty, the ELD added.

Other acceptable reasons for not voting include working or studying overseas at the time of polling, living with a spouse who is working or studying overseas, overseas vacation, or delivering a baby.

Those without a legitimate reason will have to pay $50 to have their names restored.

The list of non-voters can be inspected at the Elections Department, designated community centres or community clubs, or Singapore overseas missions that serve as overseas registration centres.

Singaporeans may also check their elector status electronically on the ELD website or on the SingPass Mobile app.

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