ELD to tighten measures after some voters received two poll cards
The Elections Department (ELD) will require the contracted printer of elections poll cards to tighten its quality assurance, after 9,822 voters in Tanjong Pagar GRC received two poll cards in the recent presidential election.
Education Minister and Minister-in-charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing told Parliament on Monday that to prevent such errors in the future, ELD will require the printer, Toppan, to tighten its processes to ensure that the test print poll cards are not mailed out in future elections.
ELD and the printer will also conduct joint checks to ensure that all test print poll cards are destroyed before the production of actual poll cards, Mr Chan said.
“ELD and the printer will also perform a sampling audit to check that the details in the poll card are accurate. This includes ensuring that the number of poll cards printed for a constituency is exactly the same as the number of registered voters in the constituency,” he added.
“I would like to assure members that ELD will continue to work with the printer to tighten processes and ensure that these safeguards are properly implemented in future elections.”
Mr Chan was responding to a question from Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC) on what lessons were learnt from the incident, and what measures will be implemented to prevent future errors.
ELD said in a statement on Aug 24 that Toppan had erroneously sent out test prints of poll cards together with the correct poll cards to 4,803 households – with 9,822 voters – in Tanjong Pagar GRC.
Of these 9,822 individuals, 9,354 received two poll cards with different voter serial numbers. The remaining 468 voters received two poll cards with identical information.
Ms Pereira on Monday also asked how the problem was identified, whether there were reports of confusion or problems faced by Tanjong Pagar GRC voters on Polling Day, and if any voters were unable to vote as a result of the issue.
Mr Chan responded that the mistake arose when the printer did not expunge the test data before it printed the poll cards.
“It’s the same process, it’s the same printer, so we will work with the printer to make sure that we tighten this up,” he said.
On whether there were problems faced by voters on Polling Day, Mr Chan said both poll cards showed the same polling station, meaning that if the voter turned up at the polling station, they would have no problem getting in to vote.
“What was different between the two poll cards for those affected is what we call the serial number. The serial number doesn’t determine whether a person can vote or not,” he added.
Mr Chan noted that NRICs or passports were used to verify a person’s identity to allow them to vote.
He said: “We don’t believe that anybody was not able to vote because they received a duplicate poll card.”