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The Mystery Of The Empty Ballot Boxes Remains

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The question is what were the ballot boxes doing (secreted?) in a separate room, presumably separated from the rest of the boxes that were eventually collected by the contractor for disposal?

 

At this point of time, there is no way to determine what happened to the ballot papers which they must have contained. But there are several questions which should be answered by the relevant officials in charge. Are there any official signatures or codes on the boxes to determine and verify their authenticity? Whose signatures should be on the boxes? Chan CS has provided no details in Parliament. IMO, one instance may be explained away as an isolated case, but when there are FIVE other instances in FIVE other different counting centres, can he afford to be so incurious and dismissive about it?  Does this not strike him as odd? What were the circumstances surrounding the five other ‘discoveries’? Were the ballot boxes also found ‘hidden’ in rooms like the first case? While a swallow does not a summer make, but when there are FIVE others can Chan take the matter so lightly? In total, how many filled voting slips/ballot papers did all the boxes found once contained?

 

Surely, the ‘counting’ protocol must have included a way to counter-check and trace back via records made, whether the emptied ballot boxes had indeed been processed in the normal way – i.e. duly emptied at the counting table and the ballots in them counted. Indeed, isn’t it possible at all to establish that the ballot boxes found were genuine ones collected from the voting centres and despatched to the counting centres?    

 

In the absence of more information and transparency, the possibility of foul play should not be ruled out as we know how close the voting was between the front runners, the two Dr Tans.

 

Finally, isn’t it surprising that the people in charge of the premises involved had apparently not bothered or made any attempt to report the existence of the ballot boxes on their premises to the Election Dept or the police all this while? Can they justifiably plead ignorance about the existence of the ballot boxes right under their noses, figuratively speaking? As it happened, it was left to an outsider to finally publicize the existence of these boxes in a room of a school used as a counting centre.

 

One final point. Goh Meng Seng in his blog ( http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.sg/2013/09/electoral-system-under-scrutiny.html) said that NO NEW BOXES should be used to hold the counted votes. According to Goh, the rules says that the counted votes should be returned to their original boxes and resealed. Is this correct?

 

With so many unanswered questions is it safe to accept Chan CS’s claim that there had been no lapses?    

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2 Comments

  1. SS says:

    Agree with all your points raised.

    Here’s what I would additionally like to know.

    When votes from precinct A are collected, say 10,500 votes and precinct B 13,000 votes are delivered to counting center, do polling agents then add up those collected votes ie. 23,500 votes are counted, of which (1) x % are spoilt (2) x% to Candidate A (3) x% to Candidate B and finally tallied at the with those from the various collection centers and the registry? The voting centers are different from the counting centers after all.

    In other words, do Total # of Votes Received matched Total # of Votes Counted at the end of the counting process, before being signed, sealed and destroyed?

    My concern is, given the “extra” boxes lying around, how do we know if they were not printed extra to either deliver ghosts votes or recounted twice, since there can never be 100% accompaniment and check on the polling agents and supervision of the entire delivery and handling process, as I understood with the lack of manpower in the ground?

    We may want to trust the integrity of a govt, but is always prudent to verify.
    After all, as you said, the margins of the top two contenders were extremely close. I am frankly aghast by the way Chan Chun Sing has handled it.

    • thetwophilo says:

      This is quite privileged information, I think, which we would all like to know. Can anyone – esp. those who have performed duties at the Voting and Counting Centres during the PE/GE/BE in an official capacity – please help to enlighten all of us?

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