Singapore goes to the polls in midst of pandemic

Singaporeans voted in country’s general election  today with a few long queues seen outside voting stations. Mask wearing citizens are taking all precautions as they cast their votes during the COVID-19 pandemic following social distancing norms. Strict safety measures are in place, with voters wearing gloves and masks and given timed voting slots.

Singapore’s elections are being held in unusual circumstances in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s ruling party, the People’s Action Party is looking to extend its 55-year rule with a fresh mandate to counter the city-state’s worst-ever recession amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (File Image )

Unprecedented safety measures have been taken at polling stations. Voters will have their temperature taken upon entry, and those with a temperature of above 37.5 degrees will not be allowed in.
The Elections Department has also devised a touch-free registration process, with voters at no point needing to have physical contact with election officials.

Before entering the polling booths, voters will be asked to sanitise their hands and don disposable gloves. They can use a self-inking pen provided in each polling booth, or their own pens, to mark an “X” in a box next to their preferred candidate’s name on the ballot paper.

Singapore votes

The polls opened at 8am and will close at 8pm. It is expected that leads will start coming in by 10 pm on July 10.

There are 2.65 million voters registered to vote in 1,100 polling stations across the island nation. They will choose 93 MPs in 17 group representation constituencies (GRC) – which are meant to ensure multiracial representation in the parliament of Singapore.

Before Singapore, South Korea and Mongolia have held major elections with abundant preventive measures to ensure public health was not compromised.

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