The empty ballot boxes deserve a thoroughgoing police probe, says Tan Jee Say. Mr Tan, who contested the 2011 presidential election, is surprised by the sudden discovery of two empty ballot boxes. This is irregular. The ballot boxes are supposed to be discarded after the elections, said the Elections Department.
The Elections Department filed a police report after it received an email from a member of the public on Tuesday about the empty ballot boxes found. The Elections Department did not say where the boxes were found or which elections they were used for. But they were purportedly found in a school room and based on pictures circulating online appear to be from two polling stations in the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and were used in the 2011 presidential election.
Mr Tan, who contested the election, said: “I am surprised this has happened. Looks like there is unfinished work by some people. Now that a police report has been lodged, I hope the police will thoroughly investigate into it.”
The Elections Department, which is under the Prime Minister’ Office, stressed the discovery of the empty, used ballot boxes had no implications on “the secrecy of the vote and the electoral process”.
“They (the boxes) are supposed to have been collected by the Elections Department’s contractor, along with other discarded items, from the counting centres for general disposal,” it said. The discovery of used empty ballot boxes would mean that “these were missed by the contractor at the point of collection for disposal”, the statement added.
Police said: “The persons interviewed by the Police have told the Police that the ballot boxes were empty when they found them, with no ballot papers inside. Preliminary investigations indicate that these were empty boxes left behind in the counting centre intended to be disposed of. ”
Investigations are continuing, police added.