GE 2020: What Happens If You Don’t Vote On Polling Day?

Singapore is set to hold its general election (GE) on July 10.
GE comes around every five years, and it’s important for all eligible Singaporean voters to do their part.
As PM Lee Hsien Loong said, “the new government will impact and influence your lives and livelihoods. These decisions will shape Singapore for many years to come, far beyond the five-year time of the next Government.”
That said, he urged Singapore citizens to “think carefully and vote wisely.”
Voting is deemed compulsory in Singapore, according to the Elections Department Singapore (ELD).
It is as much a fundamental right of citizenship, as it is a civic responsibility to be exercised by citizens to choose and elect their leaders in a democracy.
“All Singapore citizens whose names are in the Registers of Electors have to cast their votes on Polling Day.”
So what happens if you don’t vote on Polling Day?
To put it simply, your voting rights will be forfeited.
After the elections are over, the Returning Officer will compile a list of non-voters (those who should have voted but didn’t).
The Registration Officer will then remove these names from the certified Register of Electors of the electoral divisions that they belong to.
Non-voters cannot vote at any subsequent Presidential or Parliamentary election, and are disqualified from being an election candidate in the future.
A non-voter can restore his name to the register by submitting an application to the Registration Officer along with an explanation as to why he/she did not vote in the election.
A fee of $50 will be imposed if a non-voter does not have a valid and sufficient reason for not voting.
Some valid reasons are:
The application may be made online via the Services provided on this website using SingPass or through over-the-counter assistance munity centre/club or the Elections Department.
Do take note that no restoration can be made once a Writ of Election is already issued.
In the future, if you foresee that you cannot vote in the upcoming election (as per the reasons above) but wish to vote in future elections, you can pre-apply for your name to be restored. The application process is the same as mentioned earlier.
Applications for restoration of names received during the election period will only be processed after the non-voter list is compiled after the election.
In the event that you are later able to vote in the election, you may still proceed to cast your vote at the allotted polling station and your earlier application to restore your name will be automatically voided.
Remember, every vote counts and have the power to tip the balance in favour of any one political party.
If you feel like you haven’t caught up with the GE 2020 whirlwind, check out our microsite here for the latest election news, find out which constituency you belong to, and who’s running where on the election battleground.
Featured Image Credit: Youth.sg
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