ELD will require printer to tighten internal processes to prevent repeat of duplicate poll cards
"We don’t believe that anybody was not able to vote because they received a duplicate poll card," said Minister-in-charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing.
SINGAPORE: The Elections Department (ELD) will institute new measures to prevent errors in the printing of poll cards, after almost 10,000 voters in the recent Presidential Election received two poll cards each, said Minister-in-charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing on Monday (Sep 18).
The contracted commercial printer Toppan had mistakenly mailed test prints of poll cards together with the correct poll cards to 4,803 households, affecting 9,822 voters in Tanjong Pagar, he added.
“Due to human error, test print data was pooled together (with) production print data during the actual printing to generate poll cards for voters in Tanjong Pagar GRC. As a result, the affected households received duplicate poll cards,” said Mr Chan in parliament, responding to questions on the matter.
The duplicate poll cards showed the correct polling stations and affected voters were able to vote at their assigned polling stations, he noted.
ELD apologised after the incident in August, and reached out to affected voters to inform them of their correct voter's serial numbers.
Processes are also in place to ensure that voters with two poll cards could only vote once, since they had to produce their NRIC or passport as proof of identification, which was then verified against polling station registers, said Mr Chan.
To prevent such errors in the future, ELD will require the printer to tighten its internal quality assurance processes to ensure that test print poll cards are not mailed out in future elections, he added.
ELD and the printer will also conduct joint checks to ensure that all test print poll cards are destroyed before the actual poll cards are produced, said Mr Chan.
“ELD and the printer will also perform a sampling audit to check that the details in the poll card are accurate. This includes ensuring that the number of poll cards printed for a constituency is exactly the same as the number of registered voters in the constituency,” he added.
MP Joan Pereira (PAP-Tanjong Pagar) asked if there was any confusion or problems reported by the affected voters on Polling Day and whether there were any voters who were unable to vote as a result of this issue.
Since both the test poll cards and actual poll cards indicated the same polling station, voters would have had no problem voting as long as they went to the right polling station, Mr Chan replied.
The extra test poll cards only affected the serial number of the poll cards, which does not determine whether the Singaporean can vote, he added.
“We don’t believe that anybody was not able to vote because they received a duplicate poll card.”