We refer to your email dated 26 May 2011 and we apologise for the delay in responding to you
With reference to the further points that you have raised with specifics, we would like to make the following clarifications.
the transport of ballot boxes by bus to the counting centre, the
process ensures that there is no break in the chain of custody of the
ballot boxes from the first polling station till the time the boxes are
delivered to the counting centre. Every ballot box must be officially
sealed (and this may be witnessed by candidates and polling agents, who
can also place their seals, if they are present at the polling station
at the close of polls) and each will be labelled with the name of the
polling station of origin before it may be loaded onto the bus. On board
the bus is a police officer, who stands guard over these ballot boxes
from the moment he receives them. The police officer remains on board
throughout the journey as the bus goes to the other polling stations to
collect the remaining sealed ballot boxes. Finally, before the boxes
are opened at the counting centre, candidates and their agents who are
present may inspect all the boxes again to ascertain that the seals of
the ballot boxes are intact and have not been tampered with.
for the re-entry of polling agents into the polling station, after
further investigations, we recognise that the practice has not been
consistent amongst election officials. We will certainly consider your
feedback when we review the procedures for election officials to follow
and the training of officials.
explanation that the ballot boxes can be inspected and sealed by
candidates and polling agents before they are transported is welcome.
However this is negated by the inconsistent application of regulations,
as you have acknowledged, by officials from the Elections Department
As I noted in my emails, some of our candidates were
refused entry into certain polling stations and some of our polling
agents were refused re-entry. If they could not be in the polling
stations, how can they verify that the ballot boxes are properly sealed
and their transportation conducted safely?
To ensure that future
elections are conducted flawlessly as far as the voting process is
concerned we would like to ask for the ELD to conduct a seminar where
parties can be briefed on the various procedures of voting and for you
to receive feedback from candidates and polling agents on how loopholes
can be plugged and the entire balloting process improved.
CHEE SOON JUAN Secretary-General Singapore Democratic Party
SingaporeMonday, 22 August 2011SingaporeDemocratsPrint