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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cannot Vote?

Here is what will happen.  Those who do not vote will be struck off electoral register.

Most people know that voting is compulsory in Singapore, but some have no idea what happens to them if they miss the general election.

The question is looming large since one likely date for Polling Day that has been  cited by pundits is Apr 30. which falls on a long weekend when more people are expected to be out of the country.

This year's election will also see more seats contested by the opposition.  This means that more voters could be caught out by their holiday plans.

Indeed travel agencies here say that Apr and May are usually peak travel periods because of the Labour Day break, with a general spike of 20 percent in travel demand to places such as Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam.

This is why at least one of them, CTC Travel, has found it necessary to advise its customers on the dos and don'ts if they did miss their chance to vote.

Way back in Feb, CTC Travel already prepared a list of commonly asked questions, related to the impending General Election.

This included a list of valid reasons for not voting, which can incidentally be found on the Elections Department website.

For example people who had made travel plans before Polling Day is announced will be struck off the electoral register of eligible voteres for the next election if they do not show up to vote at the next elections.

Those without valid reasons will need to pay $50 to regain the right to vote at the next elections.

According to the Elections Department, it is compulsory for all eligible citizens to caste their vote at the residential elections or parliamentary elections, if their constituency is contested.

There is no provision in the law to exempt any voter. Those who are eligible and do not vote are not only struck off the register but are also disqualified from running as candidates in future elections.

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