Singaporeans on non-voter list for future elections will be individually informed via mail and Singpass
“ELD has investigated this and concluded that the most probable cause of error was that the NRIC details of these affected voters had not been captured properly by the electronic registration system, which was only introduced from GE2020,” said Mr Chan.
He explained that a voter’s NRIC and poll card are first checked by election officials at the registration counter before the NRIC is scanned to register the voter.
When it is scanned by the barcode reader, an alert or “beep” sound will be emitted and a digital screen will flash an “OK” button indicating that the voter data has been successfully captured in the system.
The official should then tap the button to return to the registration screen, so that the next voter’s NRIC can be scanned.
“If the NRIC of the next voter is scanned when the screen has not returned to the registration screen, the alert sound will still be emitted, as this indicates that the NRIC had been scanned. However, the record of this voter would not have been captured,” said Mr Chan.
“It is likely that in their effort to clear the queues at some polling stations, some election officials might have missed out this step. As a result, the registration of the affected voters was not captured.”
A new electronic registration system, with a simplified process, was introduced for the Presidential Election. This does not require officials to press any button to return to the registration screen to register the next voter.
The issue of registration not being captured because of not pressing a button would therefore not arise, he added.
Other issues that arose during the presidential contest – Singapore’s first since 2011 – included technical issues on polling day and voters receiving two poll cards in the mail.
“Based on ELD’s preliminary investigations, there was a 30 per cent average loss in device connectivity in the first hour of polling and this reduced to 16 per cent by 10am,” said Mr Chan, adding that there was no evidence that it was caused by cyberattacks.
“Instead, this could have been partly contributed by the surge in the volume of transactions during the morning peak, when about 52 per cent of the total number of voters had already voted in the first four hours, compared to 32 per cent in GE2020.”
ELD also apologised on Aug 24 after almost 10,000 voters in Tanjong Pagar GRC received two poll cards due to a printer’s error.
The department on Monday said it would implement new measures to prevent a repeat of such mistakes.
This includes requiring the printer to tighten its internal quality assurance processes to ensure that test print poll cards are not mailed out.
Singaporeans voted for the country’s ninth president on Sep 1, with former Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam winning in a landslide victory with 70 per cent of the vote.