Without the Returning Officer’s permission, only the following persons may on Polling Day enter a polling station during the poll in an electoral division (also known as constituency):
- the Returning Officer;
- police officers on duty at the polling station and other election staff officially deployed at the polling station;
- voters assigned to vote at the polling station;
- the candidates contesting at the election in that electoral division; and
- the authorised polling agent for that polling station not exceeding the maximum number and whose name has been notified to the Presiding Officer.
Polling agents may be appointed to observe that the poll is carried out in accordance with the law. The appointment of polling agents must be made in writing. For Single Member Constituencies (SMCs), the appointments must be done by the candidate’s election agent. For Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs), polling agents must be appointed by either the principal election agent for the group of candidates or the election agent of any candidate in that group.
For the poll in Singapore, the number of polling agents that may be admitted to a polling station for an electoral division is 1 polling agent per candidate/group of candidates for every 1,000 voters allotted to vote at a polling station.
For the poll overseas, every political party with candidate(s) standing for election and every Independent candidate may appoint one polling agent to be present at each overseas polling station.
It is important that polling agents are clear about the polling procedures and are aware of the legal powers and duties of Presiding Officers at the polling station. Polling agents must not delay or disrupt the polling process and must not prevent the conduct of elections according to the law.
Transportation of Sealed Ballot Boxes
The candidate or his polling agent may observe the process to transport the sealed ballot boxes from the polling stations to the counting centres. He or his polling agent must notify the Presiding Officers of his intention to participate and submit the duly completed Indemnity Form to the Presiding Officer before 6 pm on Polling Day.
Counting of Votes and Declaration of Results
Counting of votes cast in Singapore is conducted immediately after the close of the poll in Singapore. This usually takes place on the night of Polling Day and may continue into the early hours of the next day.
When counting is completed for all the votes cast at an electoral division (including the recount, if any), the Returning Officer at the principal counting place for that electoral division will tally the number of votes given to each candidate (or group of candidates) for that electoral division based on the records of counting received. Once this is ascertained, the Returning Officer will announce the number of votes given to each candidate (or group of candidates) to the candidates and their principal election agents who are present at the principal counting place. The Returning Officer will then announce the result for the electoral division concerned and declare the candidate or the group of candidates elected to the mass media for dissemination to the public.
Counting agents may be appointed to observe that the counting of votes is carried out in accordance with the law. The appointment of counting agents must be made in writing. For SMCs, appointments must be done by either the candidate or the candidate’s election agent. Counting agents for GRCs must be appointed by either the principal election agent for that group of candidates or an election agent of any candidate in that group.
For counting of votes cast in Singapore, each candidate or group of candidates may appoint only one counting agent to observe the counting at each counting place. For counting of votes cast overseas, each candidate or group of candidates may appoint only one counting agent to observe the counting at the counting centre for overseas votes.
Counting agents should acquaint themselves with the counting procedures so as not to cause unnecessary delay or disruption to the counting process.