(Singapore, July 6, 2020) One-hundred-and-one overseas Singapore Citizens (SCs) won’t be able to vote in the General Election this Friday due to a glitch of the island country’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

“ICA will improve the robustness of our systems and tighten our processes. ICA apologizes to the 101 SCs affected by the glitch and is reaching out to them,” an ICA statement says.

It says ICA was informed by the Elections Department (ELD) on 1 July 2020 that the applications of some overseas SCs to register their local contact address (LCA) for the purposes of voting were not processed.

SCs who have changed their NRIC address to an overseas address and wish to vote in an election are required to provide an LCA via ELD’s website. This is so that ELD can allot the voter to an electoral division to vote in.

The LCA registration is then electronically transmitted to ICA, whereupon hardcopy letters are automatically generated by the ICA system and sent by registered mail to the owner of the LCA to confirm that he/she agrees to the use of this address by the overseas SC.

The address owner will need to sign and return the acknowledgment portion to ICA, following which the LCA tagged to the overseas SC will be updated in the system, and transmitted to ELD for the purpose of preparing the Registers of Electors.

After the Registers are prepared, they are open for inspection by SCs. This is to allow SCs to check if their name has been included in the Registers, and if not, to submit claims to be included. Overseas SCs may do so online or at Singapore overseas missions that serve as overseas registration centers.

ELD had announced via the media and on its website on 13 March 2020 that the Registers were opened for inspection by SCs, including overseas SCs, from 14 March 2020 to 27 March 2020. 168 SCs who had checked the Registers submitted claims to be included in the Registers. The Registration Officer adjudicated the 168 cases, and subsequently added all 168 SCs to the Registers, making a total of 2,653,942 registered voters.

Under the Parliamentary Elections Act, no further names can be included in the Registers for the current elections after the Registers have been certified. ELD certified the Registers on 15 April 2020.

However, following ICA’s checks on the feedback received, ICA uncovered a glitch in its system that processes the LCA submitted by overseas SCs for the purposes of voting.

For some cases, the system had failed to generate the hardcopy letters to be sent to the owners of the LCA. As a result, ELD would not have received a confirmed LCA for these SCs from ICA, and hence did not include their names in the Registers of Electors.

A total of 101 overseas SCs who had requested to register their LCA are affected. When the Registers of Electors were opened for inspection in March, these affected SCs did not submit any claims to ELD to be included in the Registers. This means that these 101 SCs will not be able to vote in this General Election, given that the Registers were certified on 15 April 2020.

ICA says those who wish to seek further clarification can email ICA at ICA_IC_Unit@ica.gov.sg.