Elections Department updating registers for by-election

The Elections Department (ELD) is gearing up for the Bukit Batok by-election, saying it will update the electoral registers on April 14.

Its statement yesterday said the Registration Officer will update the list of voters based on the addresses in their identity cards as at March 16.

But before the list is updated, the names that will be removed or transferred to another constituency will be available for inspection for two weeks, from today till April 11.

About 27,000 voters in the Bukit Batok single-member constituency will go to the ballot box to elect a new MP to replace former People's Action Party (PAP) MP David Ong, who stepped down on March 12 over an alleged extramarital affair with a party member.

The PAP will field lawyer and long-time branch activist Murali Pillai, and the Singapore Democratic Party, its secretary-general Chee Soon Juan.

The ELD said the by-election will be held "in due course".

Political observers said the ELD's statement indicates the by-election will likely be called after mid-April.

Not only will the electoral registers be updated on April 14, but that is also the last day of the scheduled parliamentary debate and approval of the government Budget, which was delivered last Thursday.

Each constituency has a register that lists the names and particulars of all eligible voters, who must be Singaporeans aged 21 and older.

Voters can check their particulars and have their names restored at the Elections Department at 11, Prinsep Link, or at community centres.

They have to do it personally and take with them their NRIC or passport to authenticate their identity.

They can also do it online via the ELD's website at www.eld.gov.sg

If they are overseas, they can go personally, with their NRIC or passport, to the stipulated Singapore overseas missions that serve as registration centres.

Names are removed from the registers when a voter fails to vote at a previous election, the last one being the general election held last September. The process of restoring a voter's name or registering as an overseas voter will be suspended for Bukit Batok residents once the Writ for the by-election is issued.


Correction note: An earlier version of the article stated that the Prime Minister will announce the date of the Bukit Batok by-election when he issues the Writ of Election. This is incorrect as it is the President who issues the Writ. The earlier story also said that the process of restoring a voter's name or registering as an overseas voter will be suspended once the Writ for the by-election is issued. The process will be suspended only for Bukit Batok electors.


What it should have been

Publishing on 30th March 2016

Yesterday's article, "Elections Department updating registers for by-election", said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will issue the Writ of Election. This is incorrect. The writ is issued by the President.

We also stated wrongly that the process of restoring a voter's name or registering as an overseas voter is suspended once the Writ is issued.

This process is suspended only for Bukit Batok electors.

We are sorry for the errors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2016, with the headline 'Elections Department updating registers for by-election'. Print Edition | Subscribe