If you fail to vote at an election, your name will be removed from the registers, but you may apply to the Elections Department to restore your name after the election at our eServices using your SingPass. If you do not restore your name, you will not be able to vote or stand as a candidate in future elections.
Parliamentary Elections Act section 43(11) states that “where a Writ of Election has been issued under section 24 for an election in any electoral division, no name shall be restored to the register of that constituency until after Nomination Day or, if a poll is to be taken, until after Polling Day.”
Voting is compulsory in Singapore as it is as much a fundamental right of citizenship as it is a civic responsibility to be exercised by citizens to choose and elect their leaders in a democracy. All Singapore citizens whose names are in the registers of electors have to cast their votes on Polling Day.
Singaporeans residing overseas may vote at one of the overseas polling stations by first registering as an overseas elector. The easiest way to do so is using our eServices by logging in with your SingPass. Successfully registered voters can proceed to vote at their allotted overseas polling station on Polling Day. Alternatively, they can come back to Singapore and vote at the local polling station allotted to them.
In the event that you do not vote on Polling Day, your name will be removed from the registers of electors for failing to vote in the election. If you still wish to vote at future elections, you will have to apply to restore your name to the registers. Application can be done easily through our eServices.
If you failed to vote at a previous election, your name will be removed from the certified register of electors of the electoral division that you belong to and you cannot vote at subsequent presidential and parliamentary elections. You may submit an application to the Registration Officer with an explanation as to why you did not vote in the election.
The application may be made online via the eServices provided on this website using SingPass or through over-the-counter assistance at any community centre/club or the Elections Department. A fee of $50 will be imposed if you do not have a valid reason for not voting.
Early application for restoration of name to the registers of electors is strongly encouraged as no restoration can be made once a Writ for an election is issued.
The Elections Department has considered other means of voting such as Internet voting or postal voting for overseas voters.
While Internet voting may appeal to some, it has various challenges like difficulties in authenticating voters, preventing impersonation and ensuring voting secrecy. In addition, there are system reliability issues and security risks, such as vulnerability to hacking and cyber-attacks. Auditing the voting results in the event of a petition to the Election Judge is also more challenging and potentially problematic. The use of SingPass can only overcome the difficulties with authentication partially, but not the other challenges with Internet voting.
In postal voting, there are risks with security and secrecy of the ballot as it may be lost or tampered with during postal delivery. In addition, ballot papers have to be sent to the voter at their registered overseas addresses and they have to mail back the marked ballot papers to the Returning Officer by a certain date. It is difficult to ensure that the ballots will get back on time to be counted. Late votes and missing votes will result in controversies.
© 2017 Government of Singapore
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