GE2020: Voting hours extended to 10pm, first time ever; higher turnout vs GE2015

Vernon Lee
·Senior Editor
·2-min read
GE2020 polling at Dunearn Secondary School (Photo: Joseph Nair for Yahoo News Singapore)
GE2020 polling at Dunearn Secondary School (Photo: Joseph Nair for Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Voting hours for the 2020 General Election have been extended to 10pm from 8pm, the Elections Department (ELD) said on Friday (10 July). In response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore, the ELD confirmed that voting hours have been extended for the first time ever during an election.

The ELD said, “In exercise of his powers under section 39(3) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, the Returning Officer has extended the polling hours of polling stations in Singapore except polling stations in SHN designated facilities. These polling stations will remain open until 10pm so that voters can cast their votes.

While the queue situation across most polling stations has improved, a small number continue to see long queues. This extension in hours will allow enough time for all voters to cast their votes.

For voters on Stay-Home Notice at home, on medical certificate for acute respiratory infection, or having a fever (37.5 degree Celsius and above), 7pm to 8pm had been set aside as a Special Voting Hour (SVH) for these voters to vote. In view of the extension of voting hours until 10pm, the following arrangements will apply:

a. For polling stations which have no queue, SVH voters will be able to cast their votes as planned.

b. For polling stations which still have long queues, election officials will ask SVH voters to identify themselves and will isolate them in a separate holding area. This is to prevent this group of voters from mixing with other voters. Once the queue has cleared, election officials will then arrange for SVH voters to vote. We strongly urge all SVH voters to check the queue situation for their polling station at VoteQ.gowhere.gov.sg. If the queue is long, we urge you to only arrive at the polling station at 9pm. Otherwise, SVH voters may have to wait a long time to cast their vote.

ELD seeks the understanding and cooperation of all voters, as we seek to clear the long queues at a small number of stations, while ensuring safe voting for all voters.”

As of 8pm, 2,565,000 voters – 96 per cent of registered voters – have cast their votes at polling stations across Singapore.

The turnout is higher than during GE2015, which saw 2,304,331 votes cast – 93.56 per cent of registered voters – at the close of polling, said the ELD.

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