Previously in July, a Facebook post surfaced on the internet, alleging that one of the polling agents during the General Election 2020 told a senior citizen to vote for the People’s Action Party (PAP).
The person who went by the name Arasi CP recalled how her 80-year-old mother was allegedly pressured by an Indian polling agent who told her exactly which box to stamp on.
Police reports were lodged on 10 July.
The Elections Department Singapore (ELD) mentioned in a press statement released on 10 July that this was a “serious allegations” and asked the voter in question to contact the Department to provide full details.
However, a police spokesman contacted The New Paper last Thursday (10 September), revealing that the allegation had been “thoroughly investigated”.
It was reported that the police will not be taking further actions after consulting the Attorney-General’s Chamber.
In the ELD’s statement, it was explained that polling agents were not allowed to assist voters and that they would be confined to a specific area in the polling stations to observe.
The statement went on to reveal that the voters who require assistance may request the election officials to explain the method of voting to them.
“Our election officers are trained to do this audibly, to ensure that polling agents can hear the conversation.”
The police revealed that they interviewed and recorded statements from the 80-year-old voter. She is a naturalised Singapore citizen and also a first-time voter. Her two daughters were interviewed as well, one of them was the one who made the allegation.
Statements were also taken from the election officials and polling agents who were present at that specific polling station.
The police revealed that the person who assisted the elderly voter was an election official, not a polling agent.
It was said that the elderly voter asked for her help, therefore the election official explained the voting procedure to her.
According to The New Paper, the election official told the elderly voter in Tamil to open up her ballot paper and place it on top of the voting booth, and then use the self-inking pen to stamp on the voter’s choice to cast a vote.
“She did not at any time tell the voter to vote for any particular party,” said the police spokesman.
The elderly voter told the police that she heard the election official telling her twice to “put it on top” in Tamil. However she did not hear the official say to her to vote for any one party.
The woman’s daughter told the police that there might be some miscommunication between the elderly and the official.
The police added that no other election officials and polling agents who were present saw or heard the accused official influencing any other.