Singapore should advance to online voting

It is a good start that the Government is adopting modern technology for voters to register electronically at polling stations and for votes to be tallied by counting machines at the next general election (Faster ballot counting, e-registration at next GE; Nov 23).

However, I suggest that we should also advance to electronic voting as we live in a digital age with a mostly tech-savvy population.

This will be made easier as all Singaporeans have SingPass accounts and mobile phones. Also, with the help of IT experts, the security risks of electronic voting will be low.

The obvious advantages of electronic voting are the amount of money the Government can save in terms of manpower, as well as time.

Furthermore, there would not be a need to declare a public holiday as voters can just take a minute or so to cast their votes through secured apps on their mobile phones.

This will improve productivity with one less public holiday.

Electronic voting has been used by some quarters in Singapore. I have participated in one, too, and found it safe and easy. I am confident it can be adopted for use in the next general election.

If the Elections Department is of the view that we are not ready to do so yet, perhaps we can start with some constituencies first or let the voters have a choice in whether to vote electronically or in person at a polling station.

This will also cater to voters who may not be IT savvy.

Lee Kwok Weng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore should advance to online voting'. Print Edition | Subscribe