GE 2015: Singapore all set for Polling Day

Their tasks ranged from arranging tables in neat rows (above) to putting up posters giving reminders. Across the island, many schools and void decks will turn into polling stations today. Election officers at a polling station pasting footprint-shape
Their tasks ranged from arranging tables in neat rows (above) to putting up posters giving reminders. Across the island, many schools and void decks will turn into polling stations today. Election officers at a polling station pasting footprint-shaped stickers on the ground to show voters where to go to cast their votes.ST PHOTOS: KUA CHEE SIONG
Election officers setting up the polling station yesterday at Pei Chun Public School. Their tasks ranged from arranging tables in neat rows (left) to putting up posters (above) giving reminders. Across the island, many schools and void decks will tur
Their tasks ranged from arranging tables in neat rows to putting up posters (above) giving reminders. Across the island, many schools and void decks will turn into polling stations today. Election officers at a polling station pasting footprint-shaped stickers on the ground to show voters where to go to cast their votes.
Election officers setting up the polling station yesterday at Pei Chun Public School. Their tasks ranged from arranging tables in neat rows (left) to putting up posters (above) giving reminders. Across the island, many schools and void decks will tur
Election officers setting up the polling station on Thursday at Pei Chun Public School.

About 30,000 public officers are involved in making sure Polling Day goes smoothly

NGAPORE - Ahead of Polling Day today (Friday, Sept 11), a quiet operation was carried out at 832 sites across the country yesterday (Thursday, Sept 10).

Tables were arranged in rows, signs directing people to polling booths pasted on these tables, and polling booths put in place as election officers set up polling stations at void decks and schools.

The stations are where Singaporeans will cast their votes today.

  • Assembly centres on Polling Day

  • Members of the public and supporters of political parties can gather at four assembly centres tonight to wait for the announcement of the General Election results.

    The People's Action Party has three assembly centres:

    • Bedok Stadium 1, Bedok North Street 2

    •Jurong West Stadium 20, Jurong West Street 93

    •Toa Payoh Stadium 297, Lorong 6 Toa Payoh

    The Workers' Party has one assembly centre:

    • Hougang Stadium 100, Hougang Avenue 2

    The centres will be open from 8pm tonight until 30 minutes after the announcement of the last result of the election, said a police statement yesterday.

    Any other public gathering of supporters at indoor or outdoor locations without a permit may be seen as an illegal assembly. "The police will not hesitate to take necessary action to maintain law and order," said the statement.

    Supporters and members of the public are urged to assemble at and disperse from the assembly centres in an orderly manner.

    The police also advised people to take public transport to the assembly centres as large crowds are expected.

    Motorists travelling near the assembly centres should be prepared for traffic diversions or lane closures, the police added.

    Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, are banned at the assembly centres.

For Mr Goh Kay Hock, 38, an assistant returning officer, it was the culmination of months of planning.

He said: "The preparation started a few months ago and we have been here to inspect the premises about five to six times before.

"Today, we are just here to set up what was already planned."

At 9am, he arrived at Deyi Secondary School in Ang Mo Kio, the centre for his group of assistant returning officers, to pick up posters and tape to ferry to the polling station.

The school is the headquarters for election officers for Aljunied GRC, Ang Mo Kio GRC, Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and Sengkang West single-member constituency.

From 2pm to 5pm, Mr Goh and a team of more than 20 presiding officers, who are civil servants, were hard at work at the Pei Chun Public School polling station in Toa Payoh.

They arranged tables into neat rows, spaced sufficiently far apart for wheelchairs to pass through.

They also pasted footprint- shaped stickers on the ground that tell voters where to go - from the station where they have their polling cards and identification cards checked, to the polling booths where they can mark their ballot paper in secrecy. Some 2,355 voters will cast their votes at the school between 8am and 8pm today.

About 30,000 public officers are involved in the national event.

Besides briefing sessions since the Writ of Election was issued last month, they also attended training sessions over the past year.

At these sessions, they role-played what to do on Polling Day - from checking polling cards to ushering voters to their polling places.

"Some supporters of political groups might try to come into the polling station wearing their own party logo. We are trained to ask them to go back to the entrance, remove the logo and start again," said Mr Goh, who was an election officer in the 2011 General Election as well as the Presidential Election.

This time, the Elections Department is expecting more wheelchair users among voters, said Mr Goh.

He added that about two to three more election officers have been assigned to each polling station to help such voters.

What advice does he have for voters? "Please bring along your polling card and your identity card. And please do not wear party colours."

How to vote

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2015, with the headline 'All set for the Big Event'. Print Edition | Subscribe