What REALLY happens to your votes!?

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Photo by Vulcan Post

Every five years, Singaporean faces an important decision that will dictate what the next five years will be like. As we line up at the polling stations today, what happens to our votes? Is it genuinely confidential? Let us break the process for you.

Photo by ELD

What Does the Serial Number on My Ballot Paper Mean?

Yes, it is used for tracing. According to the Elections Department Singapore, “the voter serial number is written on the ballot paper counterfoil to facilitate vote tracing if necessary.” So do they know if I voted or not? Yes, the purpose of the serial number is to prevent counterfeiting and vote fraud. This is to make sure only you get to cast your vote. 

Picture by New Naratif

Who Counts the Vote and Do They Record Who I Vote for Individually?

No, it might take them months to finish doing it so. After polling, all boxes will be sealed and inspected if seals have been tampered with before the counting begins. Votes will then be counted separately according to the polling station. According to ELD, “While it is possible for candidates and counting agents to know how voters have voted for various polling stations in aggregate, it is impossible to know who an individual voter has voted for. Voting secrecy is thus preserved.” 
So don’t worry, your MP won’t know if you did or did not vote for him. 

Photo By Mothership

What Happens to Your Vote After the Results Have Been Announced?

Besides getting to know if your favorite candidate won the election, our votes are then transported to the supreme court where it will be sealed in the vault for six months! After six months, all boxes will be inspected before being incinerated. The Workers Party has recently released a video on the topic.


So yes, your votes are confidential. Thankfully in Singapore, we place importance in data and privacy. Now that we know that our votes are confidential, voters can vote confidently for their favorite candidate without being afraid. 

Though we don’t practice incineration, as it is harmful to the environment, we can learn from the elections that placing priority in our data and privacy gives us both peace and security. Do you have a document or data that needs to be destroyed? Contact a certified professional like KGS to get the job done! Your privacy matters!