Two students who found and removed discarded ballot boxes counselled by police

SINGAPORE - Two students who found and removed five empty ballot boxes, apparently used in the 2011 Presidential Election, have been counselled by the police.

The ballot boxes were from a storeroom in a school located within the Bishan-Toa Payoh electoral division.

Police investigations into the case, reported last August have been completed, and the two youths involved have been issued advisories for their "unauthorised removal" of these boxes, said the police in a statement on Monday.

Investigations also concluded that the five ballot boxes were used and discarded boxes meant to be disposed of by the Election Department's waste contractor after the election. "There was no evidence that relates to the tampering of ballot boxes before and while in use, and hence no breach of integrity of the electoral process," added a police spokesman. "The police, in consultation with the Attorney-General's Chambers, have counselled and issued two 17-year-old youths with advisories for their involvement in the incident."

In Parliament last September, Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing had explained why the discovery of these empty boxes was neither a breach of the electoral process nor a breach of the law.

Once ballot papers have been emptied out of a ballot box, the box ceases to be a "controlled item" which must be accounted for, he said.

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