Singapore’s Presidential Election Begins

Ng Kok Song/ Facebook

Polls opened on Friday (Sep 1) morning as Singaporeans began voting for the country’s ninth President.

The three candidates for the 2023 Presidential Election – the first contested election since 2011 – are former GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Song, former senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and former NTUC Income chief executive Tan Kin Lian.

Eligible voters started casting their ballots at 8am when polling stations opened.

But queues were already beginning to form at some stations before opening time, such as the Waterway Primary School in Punggol where a line of people could be seen waiting outside its gates.

More than 2.7 million Singaporeans are expected to vote and the polling stations will be open until 8pm, after which counting of the votes will begin.

Voters must bring along their original or digital NRIC or valid passport, and poll card or ePoll card to their polling station for registration.

The poll card will indicate to voters where their designated polling station is. Likewise, the same location will be stated on the ePoll card.

Election officials and staff members at the polling station at Block 307 Jurong East Street 32 on Sep 1, 2023. (Photo: CNA/Hani Amin)

Voters can check the number of people queuing at their allotted polling station by using the VoteQ website and keying in their postal code.

The VoteQ link can also be accessed on the ePoll card via the Singpass app or by scanning the QR code on the physical poll card.

This was among the improvements made to the voting process, drawing on lessons from the 2020 General Election. The number of polling stations has gone up from 1,097 to 1,264 – a 15 per cent increase. This will bring down the average amount of voters allocated to each station from 2,400 to 2,150.

In the polling booth, voters can use the X-stamp, which has replaced the X-pen, or their own pen to mark the empty box beside their choice of candidate.

Votes will not be counted if marked outside the box. Ballot papers should then be folded in half and dropped into the ballot box before leaving the polling station. – CNA

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