In light of the COVID-19 situation and the need for safe distancing, the Elections Department (ELD) has expanded its digital services for candidates and their election agents to use upon the issue of the Writ of Election.
Candidates may now check their elector status in the Register of Electors, appoint their election agents, pay their election deposit, draft their nomination papers and submit their photos for the ballot paper — among other steps — using SingPass 2FA at login.
The ELD reminded candidates and their election agents to set up SingPass 2FA early as some time is required for the activation of 2FA.
Those who prefer to submit forms in hard copy, however, can continue to do so, said ELD, adding that they should download and print the forms from the Department’s website rather than turning up physically to obtain the forms.
The full list of expanded digital services for candidates and their agents are listed here, along with screenshots of each service.
While the next GE must be held by 14 April next year, recent comments by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing have hinted at a possible election during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite objections from opposition parties and segments of the public based on health and safety concerns.
Workers’ Party and Singapore Democratic Party have asked for clarity in the election campaign rules and fair access to electorate in the coming GE in light of the ongoing social-distancing measures for COVID-19.
ELD said that it will “share the guidelines with political parties and candidates” as soon as it has “some clarity”.
“Certainly it will not be later than the day of the Writ (of Election), so that will still give enough time for candidates and political parties to plan their campaigning strategies,” it said, adding that this would be the “worst case scenario”.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said last month that ELD cannot “prematurely” announce the rules and regulations relating to the next GE as these may be “overtaken by events”.
Based on the last few elections, the opposition parties and candidates had around a week to prepare after the dissolution of Parliament before Nomination Day. The nine days of campaigning typically followed suit until Polling Day.
ELD is a department under the direct purview of the Prime Minister’s Office — it is unlikely for the Prime Minister and his party to be unaware of ELD’s plans, or to have little to no influence over such plans.