Registration as an Overseas Elector
1. If I register as an overseas elector, which type of election can I vote in?
Your registration as an overseas elector is valid for both Presidential election and Parliamentary election (including general election and by-election) until the Registers of Electors are next revised.
2. How do I qualify to be registered as an overseas elector?
You qualify to register as an overseas elector if you are currently working or residing outside Singapore and you:
a) are a Singapore citizen not less than 21 years of age as on <1 January 2011>;
b) have resided in Singapore for a total of 30 days during the 3-year period immediately before <1 January 2011>; and
c) are not disqualified from being an elector under any prevailing law1.
Besides, you must also have a valid NRIC address or local contact address2 registered with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) as on <1 January 2011>. If you have such an address as on 1 January 2011, your name would have been entered into the register of electors of a constituency where that address is located.
If your local contact address is registered with ICA after 1 January 2011, your name will be entered into the Registers of Electors only when the Registers are next revised.
1However, if you are a non-voter (i.e. your name was removed from the Register of Electors because you failed to vote in a previous election), you may apply to Elections Department for your name to be restored to the Register of Electors.
2The address can be the NRIC address that you still maintain with ICA as on the cut-off date, or in case you have changed your NRIC address to a foreign address, the contact address in Singapore that you have reported to ICA as on the cut-off date.
3. Can I still register as an overseas elector now?
Yes, registration of overseas electors is ongoing but will close at the Singapore time when the Writ of Election is issued for the coming Presidential Election which has to be held not later than 31 August 2011.
After the Writ of Election has been issued, you may submit your application for registration as an overseas elector when registration is resumed after the election.
4. How can I apply to be registered as an overseas elector?
You may apply to be registered as an overseas elector by any of the following ways:
You may apply online via the Elections Department’s eServices using your NRIC number and SingPass.
You will be able to complete your application form and submit it online only if you login to the Elections Department’s eServices using your SingPass. If you do not have a SingPass, you may apply for it at the SingPass website (www.singpass.gov.sg).
You may also login to the eServices available at the Elections Department website using your NRIC number and the “Date of Issue” of your NRIC. However, using this mode of login will not allow you to submit your application online. You will have to print out the application form after completion, sign it and mail it to the Elections Department, or to any of the overseas registration centres.
Alternatively, you may apply in person at the Elections Department or at any of the overseas registration centres, by submitting a duly completed and signed application form which may be downloaded from the Elections Department eServices or obtained from the Elections Department or any of the overseas registration centres.
5. How long will my registration as an overseas elector remain valid?
Your registration as an overseas elector, if successful, will remain valid until such time when the Registers of Electors are next revised, or when you cancel your registration. If you wish to continue to be an overseas elector after the Registers of Electors are revised, you will have to submit a fresh application for registration. This is to ensure that overseas registration remains updated and accurate.
(The Registers of Electors are revised not later than 3 years after the election and may be further revised prior to an election to keep it updated under the instructions of the Prime Minister.)
6. Can I apply to be registered as an overseas elector if I had failed to vote in a previous election?
If you had failed to vote at a contested election previously, your name would be removed from the Registers of Electors. You may apply for your name to be restored and this will be based on your current NRIC address (or contact address in Singapore, as the case may be). You may also apply to be registered as an overseas elector concurrently. However, your registration as an overseas elector will be processed only if your application for restoration of your name to the Registers of Electors is successful.
If you have changed your NRIC address to a foreign address, you must report a contact address in Singapore* to ICA at the same time. This has to be done before you apply for your name to be restored to the Registers of Electors. In which case, your application for restoration of name to the Registers of Electors and for registration as overseas elector will be processed only after your reported contact address has been accepted by ICA.
*The contact address you have reported will be forwarded to ICA for processing.
7. Can I change the overseas polling station that was allotted to me for voting?
You are allowed to change your allotted overseas polling station by the following ways:
(a) Online via the Elections Department’s eServices provided at its website (www.elections.gov.sg) using your NRIC number and SingPass; or
(b) By post using the application form downloaded from the Elections Department website.
However, changes are not allowed after the Writ of Election has been issued.
8. As an overseas elector, how would I know the date and time to cast my vote?
The date and hours of the polls for overseas voting will be published in the Singapore Government Gazette and will be announced through the Singapore media and the Elections Department website.
A poll letter will be mailed to you at your overseas address stating the date and time of voting at your overseas polling station. An email with the same information will also be sent to you if you had provided us with an email address.
The poll letter will state, amongst other things, the name of your constituency (for Parliamentary Election), the overseas polling station allotted to you, as well as the polling date and hours for that overseas polling station.
A poll card informing you of your allotted polling station in Singapore will also be mailed to your latest Singapore contact address registered with Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). This will allow you to cast your vote if you happen to be back in Singapore on polling day.
9. What must I bring along to the overseas polling station for voting?
You must bring along the poll letter and your NRIC or Passport (or IC issued by Ministry of Defence, Singapore Police Force or Singapore Civil Defence Force if you are a uniformed personnel) to the overseas polling station for verification of your identity by the polling official.
10. If I have misplaced the poll letter, can I still vote at the overseas polling station which I am assigned to?
You can still vote at your assigned overseas polling station by producing your NRIC or passport to the polling official at the overseas polling station, but it may prolong the voting process as the official may need more time to verify your voting eligibility.
11. If I happen to be back in Singapore on Polling Day, can I vote in Singapore?
Yes, a poll card informing you of your allotted polling station in Singapore will also be mailed to your latest Singapore contact address registered with ICA.
The location of your local polling station will be shown on the poll card that is mailed to your latest NRIC address/contact address. At the local polling station, you will be required to take a declaration that you have not voted elsewhere in the same election, before a ballot paper is issued to you.
12. Can my family member who resides in Singapore vote on my behalf?
No, voting must be done by the voter in person. No others can vote on a voter’s behalf.
13. What would be regarded as a valid and sufficient reason for not voting?
The following explanations have been accepted as valid and sufficient reason for not voting:
a) working overseas (including being on a business trip) at the time of the poll
b) studying overseas at the time of the poll
c) living with your spouse who is working or studying overseas
d) overseas vacation which was planned before the poll
e) illness, or delivering a baby
14. What if I did not vote in an election?
If you did not vote in an election, your name would be expunged from the Registers of Electors after the election. Do note that until your name is restored to the Registers of Electors (upon your application), you would not be eligible to vote at any subsequent Presidential or Parliamentary election. You would also be disqualified from standing as a candidate at any subsequent Presidential or Parliamentary election.
When Writ of Election has been issued
15. I have just been relocated to London by my company. I am a Singaporean and a qualified elector. Can I vote at the London High Commission, which has been designated as an overseas polling station?
No, only registered overseas electors who had been allotted to vote at the overseas polling station set up at our London High Commission can cast their votes there. As registration of overseas electors has closed when the Writ of Election was issued, it is too late to apply for registration now.
16. I have registered myself as an overseas elector to vote at the overseas polling station in Beijing, China. Currently, I am working in Shanghai. Can I choose to vote at the overseas polling station in Shanghai, China?
You have been assigned to vote at the overseas polling station in Beijing, China. This cannot be changed once the election is called, and this means that you are not able to vote at the overseas polling station in Shanghai, China.
17. I was registered as an overseas elector to vote at the Singapore High Commission in London earlier this year. However, I am presently staying in Washington DC. I understand that the Singapore Embassy at Washington DC is also designated as an overseas polling station. Can I vote there?
No, it is too late to change your overseas polling station now. You can only vote at the Singapore High Commission in London, which is the overseas polling station allotted to you. However, if you are back in Singapore during this period, you can cast your vote at your assigned polling station in Singapore. You will be required to take a declaration that you have not voted elsewhere before you will be issued a ballot paper.
An overseas voter may apply to change their allotted overseas polling station, but this can be done only before the Writ of Election is issued. Application for change of overseas polling station may be made online via the eServices available at the Elections Department website http://www.elections.gov.sg/
18. I will be taking a holiday in Tokyo where there is an overseas polling station. Can I cast my vote at the Singapore Embassy in Tokyo?
You can only vote at an overseas polling station if you are registered as an overseas elector and have been allotted to cast your vote at that overseas polling station. If you are not a registered overseas elector, you will not be allowed to vote at any overseas polling station.
If you are unable to vote on Polling Day, your name will be removed from the Registers of Electors after the election. However, you can apply to have your name restored to the Registers of Electors after the election.
19. I am studying (or working) overseas. Do I have to vote? How would I know whether I have to vote?
If you have earlier been registered as an overseas elector, you would have been informed of when, where and how you can cast your vote through the following means:
(a) A poll letter informing you of the date/time of polls and the overseas polling station allotted where you can cast your vote will be mailed to you based on your overseas correspondence address registered with the Elections Department;
(b) A softcopy of the poll letter will also be emailed to you if you have provided your email address to the Elections Department.
If your name is found in the Register of Electors but you have not been registered as an overseas elector, you may still vote if the election is contested but only at the polling station allotted to you in Singapore, and you can do so if you happen to be back in Singapore on Polling Day with the poll card sent to your Singapore NRIC address.
Overseas electors can also visit the Elections Department website at http://www.elections.gov.sg/ for information on the date/time of polling for the respective overseas polling stations. Overseas polling will be carried out at 9 overseas polling stations located at the Singapore Missions in Canberra, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tokyo, Washington and New York (please refer to Annex A for the details).
20. How will overseas voting be done? Is it different from how voting is done in Singapore?
The polling procedures at the overseas polling stations will be similar to the procedures at the polling stations in Singapore.
The overseas polls are open for 12 hours from 8.00am to 8.00pm at the local time of the respective cities and may be extended beyond 12 hours if necessary, but overseas polls must close not later than the close of polls in Singapore, i.e. 8pm (Singapore time) on Polling Day. (This would mean that polling at those overseas polling stations located in US will have to be held one day ahead of the polls in Singapore).
21. I was told that the Registers of Electors were revised as on 1 Jan 2011 and my name was removed because I have reported a change to an overseas address on my NRIC to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on 25 April 2010 without a registered local contact address in Singapore. May I know what the rationale is, and how I can restore my name to the Registers of Electors again?
Elections in Singapore are constituency-based. There is a Register of Electors prepared for every constituency and this is based on the electors’ local addresses in Singapore as shown on the electors’ NRIC. When you report a change to an overseas address with ICA (Immigration Checkpoints Authority),
You are advised to also register a local contact address with ICA so that Elections Department can restore your name to the Registers of Electors at the next revision and assign a constituency to your name based on the local contact address.
To facilitate your registration of a local contact address, the ICA has now made available an eService which is accessible via Elections Department’s website at www.elections.gov.sg where you can submit your registration on-line using your NRIC number and SingPass.
[Note: You are advised to register a local contact address whenever you report a change to an overseas address with ICA. Failure to register a local contact address will result in you not being able to vote at subsequent elections.]
22. I am a registered overseas elector (for the current Registers of Electors 2011), but I did not vote in the recent General Election 2011 at my designated overseas polling station or in Singapore. Am I right to say that I will be able to vote at my designated overseas polling station for the Presidential Election 2011, after I have restored my name to the Registers of Elector?
You have to apply to restore your name to the Registers of Electors. You will then be able to vote in Singapore. If you are still residing overseas, and wish to cast your vote for the upcoming Presidential Election 2011 at a designated overseas polling station, you must re-apply to be an overseas elector at the same time when you apply to restore your name to the Registers of Electors.
3 JUNE 2011
OVERSEAS POLLING STATIONS
High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in Australia
17 Forster Crescent
Tel: 61-(2) 6271-2000
Fax: 61-(2) 6273-8165
High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in the United Kingdom
9 Wilton Crescent
London SW1X 8SP
Tel: 44-(20) 7235-8315
Fax: 44-(20) 7245-6583
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in the People's Republic of China
No 1 Xiu Shui Bei Jie
Jian Guo Men Wai
Chao Yang District,
People's Republic of China
Tel: 86-(10) 6532-1115
Fax: 86-(10) 6532-9405
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in the United States of America
3501 International Place, NW
Washington DC 20008
United States of America
Tel: 1-(202) 537-3100
Fax: 1-(202) 537-0876
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Japan
Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
Tel: 81-(3) 3586-9111
Fax: 81-(3) 3582-1085
Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
Unit 901, 9th Floor
Admiralty Centre Tower 1
18 Harcourt Road
Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore in the People’s Republic of China
89 Wanshan Road
People's Republic of China
Tel: 86-21 6278-5566
Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore in the United States of America
595 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States of America
Tel: 1-(415) 543-4775
Fax: 1-(415) 543-4788
Consulate of the Republic of Singapore in the United States of America
231 East 51st Street
(Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
New York NY 10022
United States of America
Tel: 001-1-(212) 826-0840
Fax: 001-1-(212) 826-2964