voter crash course
Can I Vote? (Requirements)1
You can vote if you:
Are a citizen of Singapore (holder of pink NRIC);
Are 21 years of age and above; (The current cut-off date is 1 Mar 2020, so if you turned 21 before that.)
Are not disqualified from being an elector under any prevailing law; and
(i) Have a Singapore residential address on your NRIC; or
(ii) If you are residing overseas, and have changed your NRIC address to an overseas address, have a contact address in Singapore registered with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (also known as a Local Contact Address)
Check your voting eligibility and your personal particulars in any of these ways:
At community centres/clubs (with NRIC/passport);
At Singapore overseas missions that serve as overseas polling stations (with NRIC/passport); and
At the Elections Department office (with NRIC/passport).
Do I Need to Vote?
Hallo. Voting is compulsory for all Singaporean citizens aged 21 and above.
Voting is your right: it is the most legitimate and effective way to make your voice heard in the political sphere and to influence the running of your country. You should take it seriously by reading up on the parties contesting in your area, voting on polling day and making sure not to spoil your vote.
There is only one scenario in which you do not have to vote: when there is a walkover in your constituency. This means that only ONE party is contesting your constituency, in which case the seat(s) will be awarded to them by default. An example of this in the 2011 GE is Tanjong Pagar GRC, which was won by candidates from the Peoples’ Action Party even before polling day because no other party had contested the constituency.
Who is my MP? What is my constituency???
Even if you’ve been in the same constituency for years now, please double check right now because the boundaries have changed over the years! Check your constituency, Member(s) of Parliament and their party affiliation by keying in your postal code into these maps:
By Yudhishthra Nathan and Goh Tiong Ann:
By Rei Kurohi, Tham Yuen-C and Tee Zhuo:
Okay, I am in __________ GRC, what now?
It’s important to know which parties/candidates might be contesting the GRC/SMC. Now you can find out more about the candidates, what they stand for, and their proposed policies. You are choosing a candidate who you are confident will represent you and your constituency, so you should be in a position to make an informed decision on who you believe best represents your interests.
There is also a possibility that only one candidate/group is contesting for your GRC/SMC, in which case, you will not have to worry about polling day, as there will be a walkover in your constituency.
What is polling day like?
Nearer to polling day, you will receive a notice in your postbox with a poll card and the address of your designated polling station. Please make sure to bring (1) an official form of identification (NRIC/11B/Passport) and (2) your poll card to the polling station! If you are a registered voter and have not received a poll card, please call the Elections Department or visit any community centre/club to obtain another poll card.
Singapore's Elections Department has a helpful infographic that mocks up what a first-time voter can expect on polling day.
Source: Singapore Elections Department (www.eld.gov.sg)
What does the ballot paper look like?
The ballot paper will be given to you by the Presiding Officers on polling day; this is where you will write your vote. It is important to follow the instructions very carefully, lest you accidentally spoil your vote. Out of the 2,304,331 votes cast in the 2015 GE, a ridiculous number of 47,315 were invalid. So please take care in exercising your democratic rights!
Mark a cross in the box next to your chosen candidate(s)' name and party.
Source: Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218, 2011 Rev. Ed.), 1st Sch., Form 12, read with s. 40(3A).
Dos and Don'ts for Polling Day2
Double-check your particulars on your poll card.
Go to the Polling Station stated in your poll card to vote. Voting hours are 8am to 8pm only. So don’t be late!
Bring your NRIC, 11B, passport and the poll card to the polling station. Please don’t bring your student EZ-link that you keep for student discounts.
Submit your ballot properly. Mark your choice on your ballot paper clearly by marking a 'X' on the ballot paper. Fold your ballot paper inwards and drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.
Don’t go around asking people who they voted for. Respect the privacy of other voters. Your vote is secret. So are theirs.
Ask!! If you are confused, ask any of the Presiding Officers if you aren’t sure about what to do. However, the Presiding Officers are not allowed to tell you who to vote for…
Do not damage, alter or write anything on your poll card. You should only mark the X in the right part of the ballot box. Don’t write your name in the box or a tick/star/smiley face/stickman, or your vote will not be counted.
You cannot help your friend vote. Impersonating another voter is an offence.
Do not go to any polling station except the one stated in your poll card. This is to prevent people from voting twice. Don’t loiter outside a Polling Station because that is also an offence.
Do not bring your bags, children or pets (except guide dogs). Children and pets will have to be left outside.
Do not bring any document or material, or wear any attire or badge that shows a political party’s or candidate’s symbol. No reppin’ of any merch.
Please do not write anything that might identify you on the ballot paper. This is not your math worksheet. Do not write your name.
Don’t take the ballot paper out of the station.
Don’t put anything else into the box.
Don’t use your phone in the polling station. You can’t post your voting experience on Instagram story. No cameras, videos or photographic equipment is allowed in the polling station either.
So...who should I vote for?
~ Whomever you want because your vote is secret. ~ 3
Source: Singapore Elections Department (www.eld.gov.sg)