More overseas S'poreans voted in 2020 than in 2015

Total voter turnout in GE2020 as much as 95.81%.

Kayla Wong | July 16, 2020, 12:50 AM

Votes from Singaporean electors residing overseas were counted by the Elections Department Singapore (ELD) on Wednesday, July 15.

More overseas Singaporeans voted in 2020 than 2015

According to a statement released by ELD on Wednesday night, 4,794 registered overseas electors turned up at the 10 overseas polling stations to cast their votes.

The number is 72.97 per cent of the total number of registered overseas electors.

This is an increase from the 2015 General Election (GE).

According to The Straits Times, a total of 3,415 overseas voters out of the 4,868 registered cast their votes back in 2015, which means 1,379 more voted this election.

After adding to the votes cast in Singapore on polling day, July 10, the total number of votes cast at GE2020 is 2,540,359 (inclusive of 45,822 rejected votes), which is 95.81 per cent of the 2,651,435 registered voters.

This is the largest turnout of voters since 1997.

Total number of valid local and overseas votes

While the number of valid overseas votes cast for each party or candidate in each constituency is not provided by ELD, here is a breakdown of the total number of valid votes cast for the party or candidate in all constituencies:

Table via ELD

Table via ELD

Table via ELD

WP thanked overseas voters

A sense of how a constituency performed among overseas voters can be found in a Facebook post by Workers' Party's (WP) East Coast GRC candidate Terence Tan.

Tan revealed that the WP received 147 votes from East Coast GRC residents who are currently residing overseas, while the People's Action Party (PAP) received 135.

He noted that there were no spoilt votes, and thanked all voters who made their way to the ballot box overseas to "exercise their constitutional right".

WP member Nicole Seah, who contested as part of the five-member East Coast GRC team, posted the same image on her Instagram account.

She thanked overseas voters registered in East Coast GRC, saying the party is "deeply appreciative" of their efforts to make the trip to the ballot boxes, despite the journey being "logistically arduous" for many.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you so much to all East Coast GRC voters living overseas. We know that it has always been an arduous process to cast your vote overseas. Many factors such as limited polling stations and a logistically arduous journey for many living in large continents, lack of online voting, hiccups with voter registration mean that only a tiny fraction of overseas Singaporeans are able to vote. Nevertheless, we are deeply appreciative for the efforts of those who made it, and made your vote count. Thank you so very much, we are grateful. 🙏🏻💙

A post shared by Nicole Seah 佘雪玲 (@nicoleseah.sg) on

WP and PSP members witnessed counting process

The counting of overseas votes was done at the Elections Department Training Centre located at Victoria Street.

WP and Progress Singapore Party (PSP) members arrived at the site to witness the counting process.

The WP members include chairman and incumbent Aljunied GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Sylvia Lim, Aljunied MP-elect Gerald Giam, Sengkang GRC MP-elect He Ting Ru, as well as Hougang SMC MP-elect Dennis Tan.

View this post on Instagram

A reunion of sorts - counting of overseas ballots. #GE2020 #WP

A post shared by Sylvia Lim (@sylvialim65) on

Image by Lauren Choo

Image via Ministry of Communications and Information

Members from the WP and PSP were also seen chatting among themselves while waiting for the counting process to start.

Image by Lauren Choo

Image by Lauren Choo

Image by Lauren Choo

Counting of overseas ballots

According to ELD, all overseas polling stations have to close before polling ends in Singapore.

Ballot boxes are then moved to Singapore for counting, and they must reach the Returning Officer within 10 days after Polling Day in Singapore for the votes to be counted.

Image by Lauren Choo

Image by Lauren Choo

Image by Lauren Choo

Counting officials mixing up the ballot papers.

However, the Returning Officer can extend the time for the ballot boxes to reach Singapore by another seven days if

  • the total number of overseas electors is material to the election outcome,
  • and the Returning Officer is satisfied that any of the overseas ballot boxes is not likely to reach Singapore within the initial 10-day period.

Only when the overseas votes reach Singapore and have been counted will the elected candidate be declared.

Since the overseas votes this GE are not significant enough to impact the outcome, the Returning Officer will declare the candidate or group of candidates to whom the greatest number of votes is given to be elected.

GE2020 performance

The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has retained power by securing 83 out of 93 seats, which is 89 per cent of the number of parliamentary seats.

But with the opposition Workers' Party winning a record 10 seats, this is the weakest showing for the PAP, which has always won 93 per cent of seats since the country's independence.

It is also the PAP's second-lowest national vote since independence, as its vote share dropped to 61.2 per cent, which was only 1.1 per cent better than the 2011 election result.

Top image by Lauren Choo