Can prisoners vote in GE?

The People’s Action Party (PAP) retained its power with 61.24 per cent of the votes in Singapore’s 13th General Election (GE) which was held on 10 July, while the Workers’ Party (WP) attained two Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) – Aljunied GRC and Sengkang GRC.

A total of 2,535,565 votes were cast, including 45,772 rejected votes. This made up 95.63 per cent of the 2,651,435 registered electors, according to the Elections Department (ELD).

But there is one group of people who are unable to cast their vote in the GE, the convicts, as they are given no right to vote during the election.

Under the Parliamentary Elections Act, individuals who are imprisoned for more than 12 months – including life and death sentences – are not allowed to cast their votes in the GE.

While those who are charged with an offence that renders them liable to imprisonment for a term exceeding 12 months will also be disqualified from voting.

The Parliamentary Elections Act states, “no person shall be entitled to have his name entered or retained in any register of electors if he is serving a sentence of imprisonment imposed by any court in or outside Singapore for an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding 12 months, or is under sentence of death imposed by any such court or is serving a sentence of imprisonment awarded in lieu of execution of any such sentence”.

In addition, individuals who have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice under the Parliamentary Act or the Presidential Elections Act, or disenfranchised due to a report by an election judge also possess no voting right for the GE.

Other situations which would result in being disqualified from voting in the election is if the person is declared to be of unsound mind, or had engaged in acts incompatible with being a Singapore citizen.

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