Singapore votes in COVID snap election
Queues formed early outside polling stations with strict conditions enforced to curb the risks from coronavirus.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called the election on June 24, saying the People’s Action Party (PAP), which had 83 of the 89 seats in the last parliament, needed a fresh mandate in order to take Singapore through the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of the earliest voters were the elderly, who were advised to vote when polling stations opened at 8am (00:00 GMT) under strict conditions imposed as a result of the coronavirus.
The polls will close at 10pm (2pm GMT), two hours later than previously planned as long queues formed at some polling stations due to the extra virus checks. Officials from the Elections Department Singapore apologised “for the wait and the inconvenience”.
Everyone is required to wear masks, and voters are expected to spend no more than five minutes in a polling station, where they must scan their identity cards, sanitise their hands and put on disposable gloves before receiving a ballot paper. Singapore has 2.65 million eligible voters.
COVID-19 patients and those under quarantine cannot vote, but a mobile polling team will bring the ballot box to the rooms of Singaporeans who have recently returned from overseas and are in isolation at hotels.
At Democracy Volunteers, we have been consulting UK and international election bodies, and practitioners, to see what can be done to protect elections in the UK and ensure that they can proceed safely in 2021.
Join us for the launch of our findings on 24th July at 10:00 BST online by registering below. Tickets are free for all!