Woman Couldn’t Vote & Was Told Her NRIC Had Already Been Used, Elections Dept Says It’s Communication Error

Polling day (10 Jul) for the 2020 General Election was a mix of highs and lows not just for the political parties, but for the electorate too.

In a bid to chart the future of the nation, Singaporeans stuck it out in long queues under the blistering sun and survived scares over self-inking pens supposedly not inking themselves.

One voter in particular had more drama – when it was her turn to vote, she was told that her NRIC had already been used.

However, this was caused by “human error”, said the Elections Department (ELD).

polling day

Error when voting

Recounting the story to Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao, the 36 year-old woman, who wish to be identified only as Mdm Lum, arrived at her designated polling station at Block 23A Ghim Moh Link around 12.30pm.

As part of the voting procedure, she had to scan her identity card under a reader to mark her attendance — only for an error to show up.

After several repeated attempts, Mdm Lum was informed that her NRIC had already been used to vote earlier. In response, she was adamant that this was unture, and she had not lost her IC.

The officials then gave her a blue “tendered ballot paper” — which would not count as a formal vote.

It was time to call the police, officials told her.

ELD clarifies incident as human error

In response to queries, the ELD told AsiaOne that Mdm Lum’s NRIC had not been used to vote that day.

It was also quoted by AsiaOne as saying,

The mistake was due to human error and miscommunication between the two election officials handling her registration on Polling Day.

The miscommunication was between the Presiding Officer and the Assistant Returning Officer, leading him to interpret that Mdm Lum’s NRIC was used earlier for voting.

It has since reached out to apologise to Mdm Lum, and will restore her name to the Registers of Electors.


Hiccups may occur in the heat of the election

In the heat of the election, it’s not unheard of for hiccups to occur. After all, it was an election in unprecedented times.

We are proud of the Singapore electorate who went through all the unexpected incidents — be it long queues or extended hours, to do their duty as citizens.

Featured images adapted from Facebook.