A Singaporean woman named Chandri had reported on a mishap that occurred on Polling Day last Friday (10 July). She shared her experience with TOC, hoping to publicise the story to all Singaporeans as well as to avoid similar issues from happening in the future.
According to her, she went to the polling station with her husband at Marsiling-Yew Tee to cast their votes. While her husband had no problems with voting, she, on the other hand, was not allowed to vote as the system at the polling station stated that she was “unregistered”.
The woman from Chua Chu Kang revealed that she was born in Singapore and had not left Singapore for an extended period of time. Not just that, she had also voted in GE2015, which made her absence in the polling station’s system unfathomable.
Chandri proceeded to check the Elections Department Singapore (ELD) website, and her name was indeed registered in the system.
Not to mention that she was issued with a poll card for the GE2020
She felt “strange” that the polling agent could not find her name at the polling station.
“I was born in Singapore and I even voted in the 2015 GE. It was ridiculous to see how my name could have magically disappeared from the list. I have not been out of SG for extended time, I got my voting slip, and the cherry on top is that upon checking the ELD website, I was indeed registered. Strange that the agent couldn’t find my name.”
Therefore, she went to the nearest police station to seek help, and she was then directed to call the ELD office via the hotline. The person at ELD who handled Chandri’s case told her that “they could not do much” about it. Moreover, they told her to send an e-mail to the ELD so that it wouldn’t happen “on the next GE”.
“I went to the nearest police station and they advised to call ELD, which I did. The person on the other side of the call said they can’t do much! ‘Just email so that next elections won’t have problems’.”
Following the suggestion given by the ELD, she wrote an e-mail to the Department at 1:15 pm that day and she was told that her case was “pending”. When TOC asked her about ELD’s response to her e-mail, Chandri mentioned that a man named Mr Jerry called her and told her that she could vote on that day.
However, she did not receive any e-mails from the ELD in response to her enquiry and that the reason for this mishap was not provided.
The woman did not give up on fighting for her rights to vote. She ran to and fro the polling station and the police station, even with the evidence of her registered status on the ELD website, she was still denied the right to vote.
She exclaimed how her right to cast a vote was almost being taken away as the ELD revealed that her issue will be resolved “by the next GE”, implying that the Department’s neglectful attitude on an important matter.
Her case ultimately took six hours to resolve when an officer arrived at her home at 5 pm and she could finally cast her vote without having to queue.
Chandri expressed that the Polling Day for her was “disturbing and upsetting”.
Had someone else been going through the same situation and not fought for their rights like how Chandri did, would their voting rights be taken away due to the extensive amount of effort to be done to lodge a complaint?