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GE2020: Voting arrangements ‘could have been done better’, thorough review to be conducted, says PM Lee

SINGAPORE — The voting arrangements on Polling Day “could have been done better”, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who gave the assurance that a “thorough review” will be conducted.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives at Blk 322 PAP Teck Ghee branch on July 11, 2020. Mr Lee noted that the turnout this year at the polls was higher than that in the previous general election.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives at Blk 322 PAP Teck Ghee branch on July 11, 2020. Mr Lee noted that the turnout this year at the polls was higher than that in the previous general election.

SINGAPORE — The voting arrangements on Polling Day “could have been done better”, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who gave the assurance that a “thorough review” will be conducted.

Speaking in the early hours on Saturday (July 11) at a press conference after the results of the 2020 General Election were announced, Mr Lee said that as the election has been held in the midst of Covid-19, the Elections Department (ELD) planned “additional precautions” during the voting process and set up more polling stations to ensure that Singaporeans could vote “safely and fairly”.

“Nevertheless, those precautions meant that the voting process took longer, the queues to vote were longer and, in some cases, in some polling stations, much longer,” said Mr Lee.

“We extended voting by two hours to make sure that everyone had the opportunity to vote, and would not miss out because of the close of voting time,” he added.

"We will do a thorough review and make sure that we improve in future. I'd like to thank all voters for your patience and understanding.”  

Mr Lee noted that the turnout this year was higher than that in the previous general election.

At the close of polling, a total of 2,535,565 votes were cast, including 45,772 rejected votes, the ELD said.

This made up 95.63 per cent of the 2,651,435 registered electors. This is slightly lower than the earlier reported figure as at 8pm, which the ELD said was based on the “summation of estimates” received from 1,100 polling stations.

GE2015 saw 2,304,331 votes cast, or 93.56 per cent of registered voters.

Mr Lee said that in order to cope with a “special arrangement for Covid-19”, many more public officers were mobilised in this election.

“Besides their usual election duties they had to take on the additional burden of ensuring a safe election for voters under exceptionally demanding conditions. On behalf of Singaporeans, I thank them for their dedication and hard work,” he said.

Just after 7pm on Friday evening, the Elections Department announced that voting hours at polling stations in Singapore have been extended to 10pm to allow the electorate more time to cast their ballots. Voting in Singapore's 13th General Election was originally scheduled to end at 8pm.

Earlier on Friday, long lines were seen at several polling centres across Singapore, with queues snaking outside many polling stations.

On Friday afternoon, the ELD apologised to voters and said that it had done away with the requirement to wear disposable gloves at polling stations, as this contributed to long waiting times.

Related topics

Singapore General Election SGVotes2020 Lee Hsien Loong polling election results Elections Department

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