Elections Department says claims that self-inking pens at polling stations do not stamp properly not true

SINGAPORE – The Elections Department (ELD) said in a statement on Friday (July 10) that it is aware of false information circulating online and on instant messaging platforms that the “self-inking pens provided by ELD for GE2020 (General Elections 2020) do not stamp properly, and that will render many votes invalid”.

It refuted the claim, saying: “ELD would like to state categorically that this is not true. The self-inking pens allow voters to indicate their choice on the ballot papers clearly and easily, and make a stamp without having to press down hard on the ballot paper.”

It added that ballot papers with more than one “x” or only a faint mark in the same box are still valid and that the department is committed to ensuring voting security and secrecy, and has put in place rigorous controls at every step of the voting process to ensure this.

It also updated that as of 11 am, queues at polling stations have started to ease but reiterated that younger voters should stick to their assigned voting time-bands in the afternoon as much as possible.

ELD had previously said in another statement on Tuesday that it was aware of false information circulating online, which claimed that ballot papers and self-inking pens provided for the election have been treated such that marks made on the ballot papers will become invisible after several minutes.

It similarly refuted those claims and emphasised that the marks made by the self-inking pens are permanent and that the ink is oil-based and water and temperature resistant.

The pens allow voters to easily mark an “X” on the ballot paper by applying pressure on it – like a stamp or chop.

Voters can also bring their own pens to mark their ballot papers if they choose to do so.

Self-inking pens were introduced after feedback from previous elections that some voters, especially seniors, had difficulty using regular pens to mark their votes.

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