FAQ: Voting and campaigning amid COVID-19

FREQUENTLY ASKED questions
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(a) Temperature screening will be conducted to detect those with fever or respiratory symptoms.

(b) Everyone will have to use the SafeEntry app to check in and out for contact tracing.

(c) Candidates and subscribers will stand or sit at least 1m apart when interacting with election officials and other people.

(d) Masks must be worn at all times.

(e) Candidates who are not well, along with their teams, will be processed separately. Candidates found to have fever or respiratory symptoms during temperature screening will be directed to a separate area for nomination. They and their subscribers can inspect nomination papers of other candidates at the separate area.

Tables and chairs will be cleaned after every team has filed its nomination papers.

(f) Election officials will be equipped with appropriate protective gear (e.g. surgical masks, disposable gloves, face shields, pocket-sized hand sanitiser) to carry out their duties safely.

(g) Dedicated cleaners will be deployed at all nomination centres. After the completion of proceedings, they will thoroughly disinfect the nomination centres before returning the premises to their original users.

Supporters will not be allowed entry and should not gather or loiter at or near nomination centres. Security personnel will be deployed to advise them to leave the area.

Nomination proceedings will be covered “live” on national TV and on online channels.

Yes, but based on the safe distancing guidelines for Phase 2, any group conducting a walkabout or door-to-door campaigning should be made up of not more than five people. There should be no mixing between groups, and each group should keep at least 1m apart from other groups.

In addition to adhering to limits on group size and safe distancing, they must also wear masks, keep all interactions and engagements transient (i.e. of short duration) and minimise physical contact, such as refraining from shaking hands.

Candidates and political parties should also ensure that the members of the public they interact with adhere to prevailing safe distancing measures.

Yes, but candidates will not be allowed to speak, livestream or broadcast music or videos from the vehicle.

However, the police will not grant permits for thank-you vehicular processions after Polling Day, as such processions tend to attract crowds.

No. Large group gatherings are not allowed under the prevailing Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines, so no police permits will be granted for any election meetings. This includes rallies and gatherings at assembly centres on Counting Night for supporters to wait for election results.

In lieu of physical rallies, political parties and candidates will get more airtime on national free-to-air TV channels.

As per GE2015, there will be two party political broadcasts (PPBs). These will be aired on 19 TV and radio channels, up from 13 in 2015.

There will also be constituency political broadcasts (CPBs), to be aired on Mediacorp’s Ch5.

Each candidate contesting in a Single Member Constituency (SMC) will be given 3 minutes of airtime on national TV.

Each group of candidates contesting in a Group Representation Constituency (GRC) will be given 12 or 15 minutes, depending on whether it is a 4- or 5-member GRC.

Parties can decide whether one or more members of the GRC team should speak.

All candidates can choose to speak in any of the four official languages.

Yes. In lieu of physical rallies, candidates have the option of holding e-rally livestreams.

To facilitate the livestreams, the Government will provide venues that candidates can apply and use for livestreaming at specific timeslots throughout the day during the campaign period.

The venues will be equipped with Internet connectivity. They will be provided at a subsidised rate, and their use should be limited to e-rally livestreams, and not for other recordings or purposes.

The Internet platforms that the e-rallies are livestreamed on must meet the relevant requirements, e.g. these platforms must have been declared to the Returning Officer.

Similar to physical rallies, beyond the basic technical setup furnished onsite at the recording venues, candidates have to make their own arrangements for filming and livestreaming at the site and ensure the successful delivery of their own livestreams.

No, the use of the subsidised venues is entirely optional. Candidates may campaign via livestreaming outside of the provided venues and timeslots.

Members of the public are advised to watch the political broadcasts at home, and not gather in groups beyond the sizes allowed under the prevailing MOH guidelines. They should also not gather at livestreaming facilities.

The owners of premises must ensure that there are no breaches of safe distancing or safe management measures.

Yes, as long as they abide by the Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations.

In general, posters (mounted on plywood or cardboard) and banners may be hung on street lamp posts and trees along public roads.

Temperature taking

All voters will have their temperature taken at the start of the queue to detect those with fever or respiratory symptoms. A decision on whether such people will be allowed to vote will be made later based on the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the Elections Department says.

The temperatures of all candidates and polling agents will also be taken if they wish to enter the polling station. Anyone with fever or respiratory symptoms will be refused entry.

Safe distancing

Safe distancing will be enforced at all times for voters waiting to enter the polling stations and within the polling stations.

Election officials and polling agents will be seated at least 1m apart.

Protective equipment

In line with the law, voters must wear masks when they leave their homes.

Voters must also sanitise their hands and put on disposable gloves before receiving a ballot paper. This is to minimise the risk of contaminating the self-inking “X” pen or ballot papers. Voters may also bring their own pens to mark the ballot papers.

Election officials will be given appropriate protective gear (e.g. surgical masks, disposable gloves, face shields, pocket-sized hand sanitiser) to carry out their duties safely. They will also have ready access to water and soap to wash their hands regularly.

Voters are not required to use the SafeEntry app, as the eRegistration system records the time when voters register at the polling station and can be used for contact tracing if necessary.

Polling agents and candidates will have to use the SafeEntry app to check-in and out for contact tracing.

To spread out voters across polling hours, voters will be allotted a recommended 2-hour voting time-band, which will be indicated on their hardcopy poll card and e-Poll card (on the SingPass mobile app).

Voters are encouraged to cast their ballots during their allotted time-bands, although they may do so at any time when the polling stations are open.

Voters aged 65 years and above will be allotted recommended 2-hour voting time-bands in the morning, from 8am to noon.

Those who need assistance may be accompanied by one household member.

Senior citizens who are unable to vote during their allotted time-bands in the morning can still do so at other times of the day, where they will be able to join priority queues.

Younger voters are being encouraged to vote during their allotted time-bands. Those who turn up to vote in the morning may have to wait longer.

There will be more polling stations to reduce the number of voters at each polling station. The number of polling stations will be increased from 880 to 1,100, to reduce the number of voters per polling station from an average of 3,000 to 2,400.

Voters should not bring non-voters (e.g. children) to the polling stations.

Check http://voteq.gowhere.gov.sg before setting off to vote, to further spread out voters and avoid bunching at the start of each 2-hour time-band.

With e-Registration, each voter should not need to spend more than 5 minutes within the polling station, including registering, sanitising their hands, putting on disposable gloves and voting.

Voters will scan their NRIC for registration by themselves, so no contact with election officials is required.

Dedicated cleaners will be deployed at all polling stations throughout polling hours. They will clean common touch-points (e.g. polling booths, self-inking “X” pens) within the polling area at least once every half hour. After the close of poll, cleaners will thoroughly disinfect the polling stations.

Voters on Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at designated facilities (e.g. hotels) will vote at special polling stations away from other voters, as permitted under the Parliamentary Elections (COVID-19 Special Arrangements) Act 2020.

Source: Elections Department