Forum: Tough for overseas Singaporeans to vote in midst of pandemic

As a first-time overseas elector, I was dismayed to learn that Singapore has only 10 overseas polling stations to serve the entire population of overseas Singaporeans. One in Australia, one in Britain, four in East Asia, three in the United States and one in the Middle East.

While I acknowledge the concerns that the Elections Department has previously raised regarding mail-in votes (Online and mail-in voting not secure, June 2), surely the safety of overseas Singaporeans must be paramount under the present circumstances?

In the case of Singaporeans based in Britain and in continental Europe, many - including myself - will have to travel to a different city or even a different country to vote, putting our personal safety at risk.

Those in continental Europe who have to cast their vote in London will also have to take into account the 14-day quarantine mandated by the British government, and possibly a further period of quarantine on their return to their country of residence. This is extremely onerous.

For a forward-thinking nation which prides itself on being tech-savvy, and which has done so much to prevent community spread of the coronavirus in Singapore, surely a system can be found which enables overseas Singaporeans to fulfil their civic duty while protecting their safety and the safety of their communities?

Carmelita Miki Kwek

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