Singapore GE2020: ICA system glitch means 101 overseas S'poreans unable to vote

The ICA has apologised to the affected Singaporeans and promised to improve the robustness of its systems.
The ICA has apologised to the affected Singaporeans and promised to improve the robustness of its systems.PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: PIXABAY

Some overseas Singaporeans will not get to vote in the general election as a result of a glitch in the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) system.

The ICA apologised to the 101 affected Singaporeans and said it would improve the robustness of its systems.

In a joint statement with the Elections Department yesterday, the authority said it was informed by ELD that the applications of some overseas Singaporeans to register a local contact address for voting purposes were not processed.

Singaporeans who have changed their NRIC address to an overseas address have to provide a local contact address, if they wish to vote in an election. This is so the ELD can allot the voter to an electoral division.

After it was informed by ELD, ICA uncovered a glitch in its system which led, in some cases, to a failure to generate hard copy letters to be sent to the owners of the local contact addresses.

These letters were to be sent by registered mail to the owners to confirm that they agree to the use of the address by the overseas Singaporeans.

Following the glitch, ELD did not receive any confirmed local contact addresses for these Singaporeans from ICA and did not include their names in the Registers of Electors.

On March 13, ELD had announced that the Registers were open for inspection by Singaporeans, including overseas Singaporeans, from March 14 to March 27.

There is a total of 2,653,942 registered voters, including 168 Singaporeans who had submitted claims to be included in the Registers.

The 101 overseas Singaporeans did not submit claims to be included in the Registers.

Under the Parliamentary Elections Act, no further names can be included in the Registers for the current election after they have been certified. As the Registers were certified on April 15, these 101 individuals will not be able to vote in the July 10 polls.

ICA said it is reaching out to the affected Singaporeans.

Those who wish to seek further clarification can e-mail ICA at ICA_IC_Unit@ica.gov.sg

According to ELD, there are 6,570 overseas voters in the general election.

 
 
 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 05, 2020, with the headline 'ICA system glitch means 101 overseas S'poreans unable to vote'. Print Edition | Subscribe