The Returning Officer
I wish to bring to your attention several anomalies regarding the voting process on 7 May 2011.
Inconsistencies at Polling Stations
1. Some of our candidates were not allowed in to the Polling Stations to observe the voting process while others were allowed.
2. At some polling stations, our polling agents were allowed to consume their meals brought to them inside the polling stations while others had to leave the station to eat.
3. Some of our polling stations having to leave their seats in order to visit the toilet or have their meals were not allowed back into the Station if they did not produce a duplicate copy of the Oath of Secrecy upon their return (the original copy was handed over when they first entered the station). Some Presiding Officers even insisted that the polling agents produce a second original Oath of Secrecy form if they wanted to re-enter. At other polling stations there were no such requirements.
4. At one polling station, our polling agents reported that before voting began the Presiding Officer did not permit them to enter the polling station despite all the necessary paperwork being complete. The Presiding Officer demanded a list of all authorised polling agents. This is at odds with the Elections Department which had informed us that we did not have to submit such a list prior to Polling Day.
5. At some polling stations at around 5pm we were stopped from entering the polling stations to deliver dinner to our polling agents. This was not the case at our other Stations.
6. We had a few reserve counting agents. Some Presiding Officers allowed these agents to remain at the counting centres and to replace some who were already scrutineers inside the centres.
We note that there were exceedingly large numbers of people who did not vote in some constituencies. One example is the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC where 9.7 percent of voters did not show up to vote. Can we verify the number of absentee ballots?
I would be grateful if you could address the inconsistent regulations at the various polling Stations and counting centres mentioned above. Such discrepancies make the voting process and its monitoring very disconcerting.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party