Online voting not feasible for overseas Singaporeans: Chan Chun Sing

On 6 April in Parliament, it was decided that online voting for Singaporeans living abroad using the SingPass portal still remained unfeasible due to concerns over authenticity of votes and the privacy of voters.

This decision comes in response to queries from Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NMP) Dennis Tan with regard to whether online voting will be implemented for overseas Singaporeans.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing said in Parliament that while a system of online voting was considered by the Elections Department, the traditional tried and tested voting method still had the upper hand. Using paper ballots at polling stations still stayed the “simplest and most transparent method of voting that can ensure the integrity and secrecy of our voting process,” according to Mr Chan.

Concerns raised by Mr Chan included difficulty in authenticating voters, potential impersonation, difficulty in ensuring voter secrecy as well as vulnerability to hacking.

While Mr Chan acknowledges that SingPass has means to ensure user authenticity, he states that it has yet to be completely foolproof. He cited the risks involved in every Internet transaction and the possibility of others obtaining SingPass account passwords, leading to their misuse.

Currently, voting for Singaporeans living abroad is done as how it is back home, with paper ballots at polling stations. Over 3400 overseas Singaporeans cast their votes in the most recent General Election in 2015.