Singapore — A Workers’ Party (WP) politician has given the reassurance that all ballot papers used in elections are kept secret and eventually destroyed.
Mr Yee Jenn Jong’s comments came after it was announced on Monday (Jan 11) by the Elections Department (ELD) that on Jan 16, all sealed boxes containing ballot papers and other documents used in the General Election on July 10 last year will be transported from the Supreme Court, where they have been retained in safe custody, to the Tuas South Incineration Plant for destruction by incineration.
In a Facebook post, the WP candidate for Marine Parade GRC and former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) wrote: “Yes, your vote is definitely secret. I have witnessed the whole process twice already in 2011 and 2015. I am sure that the votes, sealed after counting on the night of 10 July 2020 were unopened.”
Mr Yee explained that there was one exception: “The 5 Oct 2020 incident when it was discovered that a copy of the register of electors for polling district PN23 of Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC was accidentally sealed in a box containing ballot papers and a court order was used to retrieve the register from that box”.
He added: “You vote is secret, unless you are like me who chose to disclose that I voted for myself three times in the past 3 GEs.”
In its statement, the ELD said: “In accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act (Chapter 218), ballot papers and other documents used in an election shall be sealed and retained in safe custody for a period of 6 months, after which they shall be destroyed unless otherwise directed by order of the President. This is to ensure secrecy of the vote.”
It noted that due to Covid-19, the ELD will be putting in place safe management measures during the proceedings at both locations, including limiting the number of
representatives from political parties who can be present to witness the proceedings.
The ELD added that it has reached out to the political parties to nominate their respective representatives. /TISG