Dos and don'ts on Cooling-off Day and Polling Day

SINGAPORE - The Elections Department (ELD) has spelled out the dos and don'ts for candidates and their supporters on Polling Day (May 7) and Cooling-off Day for the Bukit Batok by-election.

Cooling-off Day on Friday (May 6), the traditional day of campaign silence introduced in 2011, is meant to give voters a chance to reflect rationally on various issues raised at the by-election before going to the polls.

No one is allowed to canvass or visit the homes of voters on both days, while holding election meetings is also prohibited.

The wearing, using, carrying or displaying of any political propaganda - which include badges, symbols, flags, advertisements and posters - by people or on vehicles is also banned. The public should refrain from wearing any apparel affiliated to a candidate, ELD added.

Also on the prohibited list: publishing or displaying any election advertising in Bukit Batok.

In addition, the publication of election surveys and exit polls before the close of all polling stations is not allowed.

There are, however, exceptions to the rules that prohibit election advertising. These include reports in the newspapers or on radio and television, approved posters and banners lawfully displayed before the start of Cooling-off Day, the transmission of personal political views by individuals to other individuals on a non-commercial basis and the wearing by candidates of a badge indicating affiliation with their political party.

ELD also said that candidates and their supporters are expected to abide fully by all relevant laws, and refrain from conduct that "goes against the spirit behind the prohibition against campaigning on Cooling-off Day and Polling Day".

Candidates should as far as possible avoid visiting voters or attending public events in the constituency, where they are likely to attract public attention and may be perceived as canvassing for support.

They can attend religious ceremonies for private prayer or worship, or attend functions in the course of their work.

As for voters, polling stations will be open from 8am to 8pm on Polling Day.

They are reminded to bring their NRIC or passport to the polling stations to cast their vote, and may wish to avoid going to the stations during the morning peak period when waiting times tend to be longer.

Bringing any camera, video or photographic equipment into the polling station is not allowed. For more guidance, visit the ELD website.

This article was first published on May 6, 2016.
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