Singapore GE2020: What happens if I don’t vote on Polling Day?

Eligible voters who fail to vote on Polling Day will be removed from the Register of Electors and won't be able to vote in future elections.

Esther Lam

Published: 7 July 2020, 9:10 PM

The time to cast your vote for the Singapore General Election 2020 is happening this Fri (10 Jul) from 8am to 8pm.

Elections usually happen every four to five years, and voting is compulsory for every Singaporean citizen aged 21 years old and above according to the Elections Department (ELD).

But what happens if you don’t vote on Polling Day?And should you head to the polls if you are feeling unwell? Here are the answers:

For the eligible, healthy voters

If you are an eligible voter and fail to vote on Polling Day, your name will be removed from the Register of Electors. While you will still retain your citizenship, you will lose your right to vote in future elections.

You may apply to restore your name in the register by submitting an application to ELD’s website using your SingPass, along with an explanation of why you did not vote in the election. If you do not have a valid and sufficient reason, a fee of $50 will be imposed.

Some of the reasons considered valid or sufficient are working (including business trips) or studying overseas at the time of the poll, living with a spouse who works or studies overseas, overseas vacations, as well as being hospitalised (for illness or delivering a baby).

There are also voting stations in 10 cities around the world for eligible voters who are overseas, subject to the approval of the authorities in those countries.

Polling Day is an official public holiday but if you are still working, you are advised to ask for time-off or make appropriate work arrangements to allow you to vote. Employers are required to give employees a reasonable period of time to vote.

If you are feeling unwell or on stay-home notice

If you are on medical leave for acute respiratory infection or serving your stay-home notice (SHN) at home, do not go and vote at the allotted time on your ballot paper. Those who are detected with a temperature of 37.5 degrees and above at polling centres will not be allowed to enter either until later in the day.

Instead, these groups of voters may vote at a special voting hour (between 7pm and 8pm) to minimise contact with others while still exercising the right to vote.


Remember to wear your mask and bring along your poll card and original photo identification when heading to the polls. PHOTO CREDIT: ENGIN AKYURT ON UNSPLASH


Singaporeans serving their SHN at certain hotels can cast their votes from their rooms. Mobile polling teams will personally go door-to-door to deliver ballot papers to each voter on SHN at Marina Bay Sands and JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach.

Those who are unable vote because they are unwell may apply to restore their name in the Register of Electors without penalty.

For COVID-19 patients, those under quarantine orders or SHN who fail to vote, the ELD has their records and their names will automatically be restored to the registers after the election without penalty.

Stay informed about the elections and what voters should take note of here.

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