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Electronic voter registration on the cards for next General Election

SINGAPORE — The Elections Department (ELD) plans to introduce electronic voter registration at the next General Election (GE), with a tender to procure the necessary equipment expected to be called later this year.

Electronic voter registration on the cards for next General Election

If the electronic voter registration is not in place by the next polls, which must be called by January 2021, TODAY understands that ELD will continue using the current system.

SINGAPORE — The Elections Department (ELD) plans to introduce electronic voter registration at the next General Election (GE), with a tender to procure the necessary equipment expected to be called later this year.

Previously, the Government already announced plans to pilot e-registration at a few constituencies during the Presidential Election last September, but it did not materialise as there was no contest.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, an ELD spokesperson said on Tuesday (Sept 11): “If all goes according to plan, we intend to implement this across all polling stations at the next GE.”

If the system is not in place by the next polls, which must be called by January 2021, TODAY understands that ELD will continue using the current system, where election officials will search for and strike off a voter’s name from a physical copy of the polling station register.

ELD said that under the new workflow, an election official will scan a voter’s national registration identity card using a barcode scanner to register the voter.

The equipment will not be connected to the Internet for cyber-security reasons, and there is also no change to the voting process, which will still be done by paper ballot. “It is only the medium for registering voters that is different,” the spokesperson added.

The move is meant to smoothen the election process and make it more convenient.

A day earlier, the Government tabled several proposed changes to the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill. Among the proposed amendments is one where there will be an option for election candidates to pay their election deposit through electronic fund transfers.

The election deposit may also be lowered, under proposed changes to simplify the computation formula. It will be based on the fixed monthly allowance of an elected Member of Parliament (MP), rounded to the nearest S$500. With the new formula, it means the election deposit will be S$13,500, based on an MP’s fixed current monthly allowance of S$13,750.

Under the existing formula, the election deposit is a sum equal to 8 per cent of the total allowances payable to an MP in the preceding calendar year, rounded to the nearest S$500. The election deposit at the 2015 GE was S$14,500.

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