To facilitate the Singaporean Presidential Election held on 1 September 2023, both public and private buses were used to transport ballot papers around the island. The majority of buses used were from SBS Transit and ComfortDelGro Bus.
In Singapore, public buses have historically been used to transport ballot boxes. Buses are spacious enough to accommodate ballot boxes, their accompanying election officials, and police officers who escort the ballot boxes during transport. Since the 2015 General Election, candidates or their polling agents are also allowed to accompany the transport of ballot boxes.
Two main types of trips are carried out by ballot box transport buses:
- Delivery of sealed ballot boxes from polling stations to counting centres
- Delivery of depository boxes from counting centres to the Supreme Court
During an election, vote counting takes place immediately after polling ends, and is held at designated counting centres. The process of vote counting is decentralised for efficiency; there were 215 counting centres throughout Singapore during the 2023 Presidential Election, according to news articles by mainstream media. For counting centres located in the same place as polling stations, buses are not required for the journey.
After the counting of votes, ballot papers are sealed in depository boxes and transported to the Supreme Court vault, where they are kept for six months before being incinerated.
The logistics of ballot box transport are coordinated by the Elections Department, the Government department that oversees the procedure for elections in Singapore.
According to ComfortDelGro Bus, more than 600 bus drivers and 500 buses were deployed across Singapore to ferry election agents and for the transport of ballot boxes. The location of buses was also being monitored, likely tracked via its bus driver app.
A&S Transit contributed former SMRT-owned MAN A22 buses to the ferrying of ballot boxes.
SBS Transit buses were observed with a smartphone holder mounted on the dashboard, presumably used for the ComfortDelGro driver app.
External Links and References:
- Vote counting under way for Singapore’s presidential election; sample count expected from 10pm | The Straits Times
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