Singapore GE2020: 101 overseas Singaporeans won't get to vote due to glitch in ICA system

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

SINGAPORE - 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.

On Saturday (July 4), the ICA apologised to the 101 affected Singaporeans and promised to improve the robustness of its systems.

In a joint statement with the Elections Department (ELD), the authority said it was informed by ELD that the applications of some overseas Singaporeans to register their local contact addresses 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 that the ELD can allot the voter to an electoral division to vote in.

After it was informed by the ELD, the ICA uncovered a glitch in its system, which led to a failure to generate hard copy letters to be sent to the owners of the local contact address. These letters would otherwise have been sent by registered mail to the owners, to confirm that they agree to the use of the address by the overseas Singaporean.

As a result, the ELD would not have received a confirmed local contact address for these Singaporeans and did not include their names in the Registers of Electors.

On March 13, the ELD had announced that the Registers were opened for inspection by Singaporeans, including overseas Singaporeans, from March 14 to March 27. A total of 168 Singaporeans who submitted claims to be included in the Registers were added, making for a total of 2,653,942 registered voters.

But 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 elections after the Registers 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.

The ICA said it is reaching out to the affected Singaporeans. Those who wish to seek further clarifications can e-mail ICA at

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

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