Electoral boundaries committee not yet formed; new initiatives planned for polls: Chan Chun Sing

Electoral boundaries committee not yet formed; new initiatives planned for polls: Chan Chun Sing

The Elections Department headquarters located along Prinsep Link
The Elections Department headquarters located along Prinsep Link. (File photo: Xabryna Kek)

SINGAPORE: A committee that reviews electoral division boundaries ahead of a General Election (GE) has not yet been formed, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said on Monday (Jul 8).

He had responded in a written answer to Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Pritam Singh, who had asked Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for an update on whether the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) had been formed and if not, when it would be established.

Mr Chan, replying on behalf of the PM Lee said: "The Prime Minister has not yet appointed the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee."

Before the last GE was held in September 2015, PM Lee announced in Parliament in July that year that the EBRC had been appointed two months earlier. The committee released its report in July following the announcement.

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Meanwhile, voters can expect new initiatives in the next General Election, such as the use of self-inking pens and environmental-friendly polling booths, Mr Chan said in a separate written reply to Mr Png Eng Huat, WP MP for the Hougang Single Member Constituency.

Mr Png had asked for an update on the new initiatives for the next General Election.

“ELD (Elections Department) will also introduce the use of self-inking pens, which imprint an ‘X’, to allow voters to mark their choice clearly and easily without ambiguity,” Mr Chan said.

“Such self-inking pens require minimum pressure to mark the ballot papers, making it easy for everyone, including the elderly to use.”

The pens will also “reduce the need for Assistant Returning Officers to adjudicate ballot papers”, he added.

A prototype of a polling booth that uses low-cost and environmental-friendly recyclable materials appears promising, Mr Chan said, adding that the ELD had worked on it with students from the Singapore Institute of Technology.

The design of the booth is being finalised and will be piloted at the next election, if ready, he said.

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He added that a portable booth for wheelchair-bound voters has also been designed by the ELD, allowing voters to mark their ballot papers by placing such booths on their lap.

E-registration of voters, which was announced previously, will also be ready for the next General Election, he said.

“ELD will arrange to show these new initiatives to representatives of political parties and allow them to try and provide feedback on the new equipment later this year,” Mr Chan said.

“ELD will subsequently conduct roadshows to familiarise voters with the new equipment.”

Source: CNA/na(mn)

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