SINGAPORE: The Elections Department (ELD) has apologised to voters for the long queues at polling stations on Friday morning (Jul 10), adding that it had done away with the requirement to wear disposable gloves as this had contributed to long wait times.
“ELD would like to apologise to voters for the longer than usual queues that they have experienced this morning," said the department in a statement on Friday afternoon.
“More voters had turned up this morning than expected outside their assigned voting time-bands," it said. “This, together with measures that had been put in place to ensure safe voting, had led to long queues.”
In an update, ELD said as of 4pm, the queue situation at "the vast majority of polling stations" had improved "considerably", with fewer than 20 voters in the queue for about 70 per cent of the polling stations.
"We would especially like to apologise to senior voters for the inconvenience caused to them," said ELD.
It also said it had increased the number of registration counters and counters issuing ballot papers.
Earlier on Friday, long lines were seen at several polling centres across Singapore, as seniors turned up to vote during the special time-band reserved for elderly voters.
Snaking queues were seen outside many polling stations, with some seniors given chairs to sit on while waiting to cast their ballot.
To address the long wait, ELD said it did away with the requirement to wear disposable gloves as voters would already be required to sanitise their hands.
It said this step in particular had “contributed to the longer than usual voting times”.
However, gloves are still available for voters who would like to use them in addition to hand sanitiser, it added.
“We are sorry for the wait and inconvenience to voters,” said ELD.
“We seek the understanding of all voters and advise voters to keep to their assigned time-bands where possible to avoid crowding.”
It also reminded voters to continue to practise safe distancing.
Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates: https://cna.asia/telegram