Voting is compulsory in Singapore as it is as much a fundamental right of citizenship as it is a civic responsibility to be exercised by citizens to choose and elect their leaders in a democracy. All Singapore citizens whose names are in the Registers of Electors have to cast their votes on Polling Day.
At the end of the election, the Returning Officer will compile the list of qualified electors who did not vote in the election (known as non-voters) and pass the list to the Registration Officer. The Registration Officer will then remove their names from the certified register of electors of the electoral divisions that they belong to.
Non-voters cannot vote at any subsequent Presidential or Parliamentary election, and they are disqualified from being a candidate at any subsequent Presidential or Parliamentary election.
A non-voter can restore his name to the register by submitting an application to the Registration Officer with an explanation as to why he did not vote in the election. The application may be made online via the Services provided on this website using Singpass or through over-the-counter assistance at any community centre/club or the Elections Department. A fee of $50 will be imposed if a non-voter does not have a valid and sufficient reason for not voting.
When applying for restoration of their names to the Registers of Electors, non-voters are to state their reasons for failing to cast their vote at the earlier election. Some of the acceptable reasons are:
working overseas (including being on a business trip) at the time of the poll;
studying overseas at the time of the poll;
living with their spouse who is working or studying overseas;
overseas vacation; and
illness, or delivering a baby.
Early application for restoration of name to the Registers of Electors is strongly encouraged as no restoration can be made once a Writ for an election is issued.
What Should a Voter Do If He Foresees He Cannot Vote in This Election?
After Nomination Day, if a qualified elector’s electoral division is contested and he is unable to vote in the election due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. overseas on Polling Day) but wishes to vote at future elections, he may pre-apply for his name to be restored to the registers by submitting an application online via the Services provided on this website using Singpass or seek over-the-counter assistance at any community centre/club or the Elections Department. Applications for restoration of names received during the election period will only be processed after the list of electors who had failed to vote at the election (also known as the non-voter list) is compiled after the election.
In the event that the qualified elector is later able to vote in the election, he may still proceed to cast his vote at his allotted polling station. His earlier application to restore his name will be automatically voided.