Faster results at next General Election with counting machines to tally votes [Channel NewsAsia]

Faster than the current way of counting by hand.


SINGAPORE: Counting machines will be used to tally votes at the next General Election with results expected an hour earlier, the Elections Department (ELD) announced on Thursday (Nov 22) at a media briefing.


These machines are similar to those used to count bank notes, and will “speed up the counting process and improve efficiency”.


The time taken for processing and counting 4,000 ballot papers will be reduced from three hours to up to 130 minutes.


The current counting process involves mixing, unfolding and sorting the ballot papers into different stacks for each candidate based on voters’ choices. The ballot papers are then counted by hand.


“Ballot papers for which the choice of voters is unclear will be adjudicated by the assistant returning officer,” ELD said.


“Election candidates and their appointed counting agents have the right to be present throughout the counting process.”




With the counting machines, a counting assistant will take a pile of sorted ballot papers and use the machines to count 100 ballot papers before passing the pile to another counting assistant for verification using another machine.


“Each counting assistant will need to independently achieve one count of 100 before the ballot count is confirmed and ballot papers are bundled,” ELD said.


The counting machines are not electronic voting machines and are not connected to the Internet, ELD clarified, adding that hard copy paper-based ballot papers will continue to be used.


“The integrity of the election process remains a topmost priority for ELD even as we implement new processes and use new equipment,” ELD stated.


“Accuracy checks of the counting machines will be conducted before the commencement of count at counting centres.


“Candidates and their appointed counting agents present at the counting centres will be invited to witness the conduct of these accuracy checks," ELD said.


Source: Channel NewsAsia                

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