Singapore — The police have carried out investigations and found no evidence to support allegations that an official had told a voter’s 80-year-old mother whom to vote for during the 2020 General Election.
The allegations were made in a post on social media. A Facebook user claimed that her mother had told her that a “polling agent” had insisted that she vote for the People’s Action Party and had shown her where to mark her vote.
The woman said that her sister had accompanied their mother to the polling station and the “polling agent” had offered to help the older woman.
In response, the Elections Department (ELD) had issued a statement saying that it was aware of the serious allegations and urged the user to come forward with specifics.
It said: “All polling agents are confined to a specific area in the polling station to observe the polling process and they are not allowed to assist voters.”
According to a police spokesman on Thursday (Sept 10), the allegations were thoroughly investigated after police reports were lodged on July 10.
The police interviewed and recorded statements from the 80-year-old voter, who is a naturalised Singapore citizen and a first-time voter, and her two daughters, one of whom made the allegations.
The police added that the person who helped the elderly voter was not a polling agent but an election official. She told the voter in Tamil to open up her ballot paper, place it on top of the surface of the voting booth and use the self-inking pen at the booth to press on the voter’s choice of one of the two boxes in order to mark her vote.
The police spokesman said: “She did not at any time tell the voter to vote for any particular party.”
Late last week, the ELD said that insufficient resources at large polling stations, uneven voter turnout as well as the need for Covid-19 safety measures had contributed to the “abnormally long queues” at some polling stations during the elections.
It added that measures such as temperature-taking, putting on disposable gloves and hand sanitising, as well as the 1m safe distancing requirement contributed to the lengthening of queues.
In its review, the ELD proposed that the pool of reserve manpower and equipment be increased for future elections. /TISG