Your vote is secret. When an election is held in Singapore, the Elections Department follows the procedures laid out by law to ensure the integrity of the election.
It is a rigorous process to ensure the security of your vote and voting secrecy. For votes cast in person at polling stations, there is no break in the chain of custody of ballot papers from the polling station to the counting centre, and from the counting centre to the Supreme Court where the ballot papers are retained in safe custody for 6 months and then subsequently destroyed. For transparency, the process is open to observation by candidates and their agents who are present.
Before the start of the poll at 8am
Election officials will show the candidates and polling agents present at the polling station that the ballot boxes and their covers are empty before sealing the boxes. Ballot boxes are sealed before the start of the poll in such a way that ballot papers cannot be taken out without having to break the tamper-proof seals. The sealing of ballot boxes start 10 minutes before the poll opens.
After the close of the poll at 8pm
The slits through which marked ballot papers are dropped into the ballot boxes are sealed to ensure that nothing else can be dropped into them. The candidate or his polling agent may observe the process to transport the sealed ballot boxes from the polling stations to the counting centres.
Counting of votes
At the counting centre, candidates and counting agents who are present will be invited to inspect the ballot boxes before they are opened for counting. When the ballot boxes are opened, the Returning Officer and his counting assistants will pour the ballot papers out of the boxes onto the counting table. All the ballot papers will then be mixed together before sorting begins.
After announcement of election results
After the election results have been announced by the Returning Officer, the ballot papers and other official documents used in the election are placed into separate boxes and sealed. This process is witnessed by candidates and their counting agents who are present, and they may place their own seals on these boxes. These boxes are then conveyed by Police escort and retained in safe custody for six months at the Supreme Court. After 6 months, these boxes are destroyed by incineration, unless directed otherwise by the order of the President.
For more information, please visit www.eld.gov.sg or subscribe to ELD Telegram channel.
This article is accurate as of August 2023.