SINGAPORE – With the 2020 General Elections looming, the Elections Department of Singapore (ELD) announced last Saturday (June 27) that Singaporeans will be allowed to use their passports to enter polling stations in lieu of identity cards (ICs) in order to vote on July 10.
The announcement came after the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) noticed a surge in requests for Identity Card (IC) services mostly for “the replacement of ICs, collection of new ICs and change of address,” according to the ELD website.
The ICA released a statement that shared it “has experienced a huge surge in demand for Identity Card (IC) services, especially the replacement of ICs, collection of new ICs and change of address. The demand for these services has surged by between 40% and 140%.”
The agency also explained that they have received over 1,000 identity card related applications every day ever since the announcement was made.
Moreover, the ICA has been dealing with an increase of IC-related applications since the circuit breaker measures were lifted. These services were stopped during the months the island was under lockdown for non-essential activities.
The ICA also wrote that it has “deployed additional manpower to manage this surge in demand.”
Additionally, the authority reassured Singaporean residents that applied for their ICs from 1 January 2020 to 31 May 2020 that the agency will deliver the ICs to their homes to lessen the surge of people going to the ICA premises.
The ICA also guaranteed the public that they “will prioritise the processing of applications for the replacement of ICs.” This also means that there will be a “corresponding delay in the processing of requests for re-registration of ICs.”
The agency feels that there is more importance in processing the replacement ICs because of the upcoming General Elections since these identity cards will be the public’s main means of verification in order to be eligible to vote.
The statement of the ICA went on to share that the ELD stated that Singaporean citizens can use their passports for identification purposes in lieu of their identification cards. “In addition, for General Election 2020, the address on the poll card which registered voters will receive, will be based on the Register of Electors with a cut-off date of 1 March 2020,” it continues.
Furthermore, the agency reminds those that require services at the ICA building to make an appointment first before heading over.
See the full ICA statement here. /TISG
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