Singapore Election: No campaigning on cooling-off day, polling day

by BERNAMA/ pic by BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE – Online campaigning is one of the activities which are prohibited both on Cooling-off Day today and Polling Day tomorrow, according to Singapore’s Elections Department (ELD).

Online campaigning activities including by livestreaming; the uploading of recordings of such livestreams; or the uploading or posting of any other election advertising on the Internet are disallowed, it said in a statement.

“This 24-hour campaign and election advertising silence period is to let voters to reflect rationally on various issues raised during the election campaigning period, before they head to the polls. The same restrictions also apply on Polling Day”, it said.

Activities such as canvassing of votes, distribution of flyers either physical or electronic means, or visiting voters’ homes and workplaces in connection with the election are also prohibited.

Also disallowed is conducting programmatic advertising such as using technology to automatically deliver digital ads online and on social media platforms.

Besides these activities, election advertising is also prohibited on both days with some exemptions.

These exemptions include reports in the newspapers, on radio and television relating to election matters; and the transmission of personal political views by an individual to another, on a non-commercial basis, using the Internet, telephone or electronic means.

However, for avoidance of doubt, participants of chat groups or webinars involving more than two participants on platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Zoom must not publish any election advertising on these mediums.

The moderators of these groups/channels or webinars are required to take all reasonable steps to remove any election advertising once they are aware of them, it said.

ELD also advised that it would be permissible for candidates to attend religious worship services, or attend meetings or to other matters in the course of work or employment.

However, it is subject to the general prohibitions against campaigning and election advertising on Cooling-off Day and Polling Day, and the prevailing regulations and safe management measures for the COVID-19 situation including any other requirements specific to those settings, it said.

Singapore general election is being held in the new normal practices as campaigning was done not only physically but virtually, in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which Singapore took quite a hit but has managed to contain it.