PE2023: No campaigning or election advertising on Cooling-off, Polling days
During the cooling-off period, campaigning activity and election advertising, including the publishing, display of or wearing of clothing with a candidate’s symbols are not allowed.
This is to give voters time to reflect on their choice for president, said the Elections Department (ELD) on Wednesday.
On Polling Day, voters should refrain from wearing attire with images or carrying items to the polling station that may be construed as influencing other voters or canvassing support for any particular candidate, said ELD.
These include shirts, clothing, bags or badges with prints on them that are identical to or closely resemble a candidate’s allotted symbol, or bear words that may be interpreted as showing support for a candidate.
They also include objects that are identical to or closely resemble a candidate’s symbol and would likely be associated with a candidate by the public.
“If they do so, they may be turned away by election officials at the polling stations,” said ELD.
Singapore will go to the polls on Sept 1 to vote for its ninth president.
The cooling-off period runs from midnight on Aug 31, which is Cooling-off Day, till 8pm on Sept 1, at the close of polling on Polling Day.
The three presidential hopefuls are former GIC investment chief Ng Kok Song, 75; former senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 66; and former NTUC Income chief Tan Kin Lian, 75.
Prohibited activities during cooling-off period
Campaigning activities and election advertising which are prohibited during the cooling-off period covers both publishing paid and unpaid online election advertising – including sharing, resharing, reposting or boosting of existing advertising, as well as broadcasting of online meetings accessible to the public.
Publicly displaying non-online election advertising – including relocating, altering or modifying existing non-online election advertising – is also not allowed. Non-online election advertising includes banners, flags and posters.
The following will also have to cease: canvassing, walkabouts, door-to-door visits, visiting homes and workplaces of voters for election-related purposes, and any form of public assemblies or meetings – whether online, in person, or both – about election issues.
Besides the candidate, who is allowed to wear a replica of the symbol allotted to him, wearing, using, carrying or displaying a candidate’s allotted symbol or campaign propaganda is not allowed.
Election advertising, which will also not be allowed, refers to any information that can be regarded as intended to promote, procure or prejudice the electoral success of a candidate or to otherwise enhance or prejudice the standing of a candidate, said ELD.
There are some exceptions to the prohibitions on election advertising during the cooling-off period.
This includes lawful online election advertising that was already published; as well as non-online election advertising lawfully displayed before the start of Cooling-off Day.
Other exceptions include news reports relating to election matters by authorised news agencies; and communication of content between two or more individuals that is of a private or domestic nature via electronic means.
ELD reminded candidates “to be mindful of how they conduct themselves in public and exercise due care to avoid any action that may be perceived as campaigning”.
“Candidates should therefore refrain from making home visits or attending public events where they are likely to attract public attention and may be perceived to be canvassing for support,” said ELD.
“Candidates may continue to attend religious ceremonies or worship services, meetings, or other functions in the course of work or employment, subject to the general prohibitions against campaigning and election advertising during the cooling-off period.”
ELD also reminded candidates and their supporters that the publication of election surveys and exit polls before the close of polling on Polling Day is prohibited.