Voting using paper ballots at polling stations is still the “simplest and most transparent method”, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing in Parliament on Wednesday (Apr 6). He said this in response to queries on whether online voting for overseas Singaporeans using SingPass was feasible amid security and secrecy concerns of postal voting. “The Elections Department has studied the feasibility of Internet voting for overseas Singaporeans,” he said. “While Internet voting may appeal to some, it has various challenges, like difficulties in authenticating voters, preventing impersonation and ensuring voter secrecy. In addition, there are system reliability issues and security risks such as vulnerability to hacking and cyberattacks.”
“Auditing the voting results in the event of a petition to the election judge is also more challenging and potentially problematic,” Mr Chan added. “The use of SingPass can only overcome the difficulties with authentication partially, but not the other challenges with Internet voting. For now, voting by paper ballot at polling stations is still the simplest and most transparent method of voting that can ensure the integrity and secrecy of our voting process.”
Mr Chan said that while SingPass has multiple authentication prompts to verify a person’s identity, it is still not fool-proof.
He compared it to the risks involved in any form of Internet transaction: “We all know the challenges with any Internet transaction, and that’s the authentication and verification of the person’s identity.