GE2020 Singapore: A First-Time Voter's Guide on How to Vote [With Seedly Comic!]
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GE2020 Singapore: A First-Time Voter's Guide on How to Vote [With Seedly Comic!]

profileKenneth Fong
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It’s official.

The Singaporean General Election 2020 (GE2020) will be on Friday, 10 July 2020.

And yes.

It will be a public holiday

SpongeBob Thowing Confetti in Squidward's Unimpressed Face
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

If this is your first time voting.

Or if you’re curious how Polling Day will be different from the others that you’ve voted at before — coz confirm have COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Then step right up.

Voting Cover Image SeedlyComicSeries

Do I Have To Vote?

Erm… Yes.

Voting is compulsory.

Just vote already then go do whatever you want lah.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible to Vote During GE2020?

If you’re a Singaporean citizen who is 21 years old as of 1 March 2020, it is compulsory for you to vote during GE2020.

Eligibility to Vote SeedlyComicSeries

For the official criteria, you’re eligible if you:

  1. Are a Singapore citizen
  2. Are at least 21 years of age (before 1 March 2020)
  3. Are not disqualified from being an elector
  4. Have a registered Singapore address on your NRIC, OR, a registered Local Contact Address if you’re residing overseas

Note: the list of voters for this GE2020 was based on the Registers of Electors prepared on 1 March 2020, hence the cut-off date

By the way, if you were born between 1994 and 1999, you’re a first-time voter for this upcoming GE2020.

SpongeBob Happy Dance
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

If you’re not sure and wanna check.

You can do so online at the Elections Department Singapore (ELD) website with your SingPass.

And in case you’re wondering, permanent residents are not eligible to vote.

Yep.

Voting is a right that is only accorded to Singapore citizens.

What Happens If I Don’t Vote?

Eligibility to Vote SeedlyComicSeries

If you choose NOT to vote on Polling Day, your name will be removed from the Registers of Electors after the election.

And if you did not vote in the previous election (eg. during the 2015 Singaporean General Election) your name will also have been removed from the register.

Either way, this means that you cannot vote at the upcoming or subsequent presidential or parliamentary elections.

Now, you could have your name restored in the register…

BUT you’ll need to cough up $50 if you do not have a valid reason for not voting.

Some valid reasons for not voting include:

  1. Working overseas (including being on a business trip) on Polling Day
  2. Studying overseas at the time of the poll
  3. Living with your spouse who is working or studying overseas
  4. Overseas vacation which was planned before the poll
  5. Illness or childbirth
Squidward Shocked
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

$50 might be chump change to some.

But personally, that $50 could be better put into Regular Shares Savings Plan or something else that’ll earn you high interest till the next general election.

So…

JUST VOTE LAH.

As though we have places to go now in Phase 2

It’s a huge hassle to get your name restored too.

You’ll need to submit an online appeal using your SingPass.

Or go down physically to a community centre, club, or the Elections Department to get this sorted out.

Oh, and by the way, no restorations can be made once the Writ of Election has been issued.

FYI: President Halimah Yacob issued the Writ of Election on 23 June 2020, so if you aren’t on the register by now… tough.

So… What’s the Voting Process Like?

Here’s what to expect.

1) Prior to Polling Day

Polling Card SeedlyComicSeries

A Poll Card will be mailed to you with the address of your designated polling station.

Poll Card Sample
Source: Elections Department Singapore

FYI: the (“>>>”) is for elderly electors (65 years and above) and it means that they are scheduled to vote between 8am to 12pm OR can choose to go later and join the express queue.

If you do not receive your poll card, call the Elections Department or your closest community centre to get one.

For GE2020, an e-Poll Card will also be issued — this can be accessed via your SingPass mobile app.

While official polling hours are from 8am to 8pm.

You’ll also be allotted a 2-hour time-slot to prevent crowding at the polling station.

If you’ve missed your designated time-slot, you can still head down anytime between 12pm to 8pm to cast your vote.

2) Polling Day

Things To Bring SeedlyComicSeries

Before heading to your designated polling station, check the polling station queue status online FIRST to find out what the queue is like.

Remember to put on your face mask!

And bring along an original, official form of photo identification:

  • NRIC
  • Identity cards issued by the Ministry of Defence, Singapore Police Force or Singapore Civil Defence Force
  • Passport

As well as your Poll Card and a pen if you’d like (more on this in a bit).

Report to the polling station during your designated time-slot.

How to Vote for First Time Voters GE2020
Source: Elections Department Singapore

Step 1: Temperature Screening

Temperature Screening SeedlyComicSeries

It’s pretty standard stuff.

The election officials will screen for voters with temperatures above 37.5°C.

If you’re unwell and cannot vote, you do not need to produce an MC for this.

FYI: you cannot get someone to vote on your behalf, so just remember to restore your name if you’d like to vote in future elections

Step 2: Electronic Registration

Electronic Registration SeedlyComicSeries

With your photo identification in hand, the election officials will need to verify your identity.

Meaning you’ll need to lower your mask for a brief moment.

After that, you’ll self-scan your NRIC for registration.

Note: as the registration system records the time you register at the polling station, you don’t need to check-in via the SafeEntry app.

Step 3: Collect the Ballot Paper

Collection of Ballot Paper SeedlyComicSeries

Next, you’ll leave the station and have to stand behind the yellow line while waiting to collect your ballot paper.

Once you get there, you’ll need to sanitise your hands AND put on a pair of disposable gloves.

Note: this is to minimise the risk of contaminating the pen provided at the polling booth and the ballot slips

The election official will then hand you your ballot paper.

Step 4: Mark Your Choice

How to Vote Seedly ComicSeries

Vote by marking your choice on the ballot paper with an ‘X’ in one of the empty boxes.

FYI: drawing a tick will render your vote spoilt.

You may either use the pen provided at the polling booth.

Or use your own personal pen.

Do not make any signs or marks on the ballot paper that may identify you.

And do not show your ballot paper to anyone else.

Once done, drop your vote into the ballot box.

Step 5: Exit the Polling Station

Exiting Polling Station SeedlyComicSeries

Dispose of your gloves in the waste bin.

Sanitise your hands.

And leave the polling station immediately.

How Long Will The Entire Process Take?

Even with the safety measures in place.

ELD estimates that the total time spent by a voter — including registering, sanitising, and voting — will take about 5 minutes.

What If I’m Serving My Stay-Home Notice?

If you’re serving your stay-home notice (SHN).

A polling station — that is away from other voters — will be set up for you to use.

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About Kenneth Fong
Owner of a 4-room HDB BTO and married to a financial clutz. Probably the closest to an adult you can find on the Seedly team.
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