With COVID-19 still lingering, here are ways you can keep yourself safe from the virus during the Singapore General Election.
Singapore is heading to the polls on Jul 10 but COVID-19 still lingers.
Which begs the question: How can we ensure our safety while casting our votes?
Thankfully, the Elections Department (ELD) has planned for it before the announcement of the 2020 General Election on Tuesday (Jun 23).
Here are the measures that will be put in place on Polling Day to ensure that Singaporeans will be safe.
1. Temperature screening
All voters will be required to take their temperature at the start of the queue. Candidates and polling agents entering the polling station will also need to have their temperature taken.
If anyone is found to have fever or show symptoms of respiratory illness, they will be refused entry. A decision on whether they will be allowed to vote will be made later based on the prevailing COVID-19 situation, said ELD.
2. Contact tracing
Polling agents and candidates will be required to use the SafeEntry app to check-in and out for contact tracing if they wish to enter any polling station.
Voters will not need to use SafeEntry, as the time they register at the polling station will be recorded via the eRegistration system and can be used for contact tracing, if necessary.
3. Safe distancing
Safe distancing will be enforced at all times - whether voters are waiting to enter the polling stations or are in it.
The seating area for election officials and polling agents will be spaced out to keep them at least one metre apart from each other.
You will need to practise safe distancing during Polling Day at the polling stations.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/ANIS NABILAH
4. Reducing crowds at polling stations
There will be more polling stations at this year's elections - 1,100 to be exact, up from 880 in 2015's General Elections - to reduce the number of voters at each station.
Each polling station will see an average of 2,400 voters. Non-voters, such as children, are not allowed to accompany voters to the polling stations too.
There will also be a two-hour period, called the voting time-band, allocated to voters on their hardcopy poll card and e-Poll card (on the SingPass mobile app). This is done to spread out the number of voters at each station across polling hours.
However, voters who can't make it during their allocated period can still cast their vote at other timings.
Senior voters who are 65 years old or older will be given the morning voting time-bands. Younger voters who turn up in the morning may have to wait longer.
You can even check the queue situation at your assigned polling station via http://voteq.gowhere.gov.sg before you head out, to avoid bunching at the start of each two-hour time-band.
5. Quick and contactless voting
The entire process of voting, from registering, sanitising their hands, putting on disposable gloves and voting, should take no more than five minutes.
There will also be no contact between voters and election officers, as voters will have to scan their NRIC for registration on their own.
All voters will need to santinise their hands at the polling station.
PHOTO CREDIT: KELLY SIKKEMA VIA UNSPLASH
6. Enforcement of stringent hygiene practices
Voters are required to sanitise their hands and wear disposable gloves before receiving their ballot paper to minimise the risk of contaminating the self-inking 'X' pen or ballot papers.
You may also bring your own pens to mark the ballot papers if you want.
All election officials will be given appropriate protective gear such as surgical masks, disposable gloves, face shields, and hand sanitisers.
Each polling station will have dedicated cleaners to ensure that the polling stations are kept clean at all times. These cleaners will be deployed to clean areas such as the polling booths and pens at least once every 30 minutes.
Cleaners will also thoroughly disinfect the polling stations when polls end.
Let's be socially responsible and adopt these measures on Polling Day to play our part in ensuring a safe election.
BANNER AND TEASER IMAGE CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/JAMIE LEO