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GE 2020: The Do's And Don'ts Of Campaigning On Cooling Off And Polling Day

Campaigning on Cooling Off Day and Polling Day is prohibited for 24 hours, according to electoral guidelines.

Starting tomorrow, the islandwide shutdown on electoral advertising is implemented to give voters a short breather as they carefully weigh their options.

10 July will also be a public holiday as voters head out to polling stations.

Termed Cooling Off Day in Singapore, the ban on political speech coming on 9 July is called “electoral silence“, a mechanism practiced by democracies around the world.

While Singapore’s Cooling Off Day lasts a single day, other countries like Japan have electoral blackouts that last up to 10 days.

Although critics argue that electoral silence may constitute unfair restraints on free speech, proponents state that electoral silences are essential to allow voters to make decisions free of bias.

Several of Singapore’s electoral campaigning guidelines are specifically created to prevent prejudice at the ballot box, including restrictions on campaigning material set up within the radius of polling stations.

Political candidates must refrain from visiting electors or attending public events in their electoral divisions.

According to electoral guidelines, candidates should not:

  • Publish new electoral advertising, including online material;
  • Canvass for votes in walkabouts or house visits;
  • Wear badges/symbols or displaying campaign propaganda except for the party symbol;
  • Hold e-rally livestreams.

However, the law allows:

  • Party political broadcasts to air on television;
  • Reports on newspaper, radio, television relating to election matters to be published;
  • Books scheduled for publication to be released on-time;
  • And private expressions of political views to be aired among members of the public.

Ready to make your vote count?

Featured Image Credit: The Independent via YouTube screengrab


Check out our GE 2020 microsite for the latest election-related news, find out which constituency you belong to, and who’s running where on the election battleground here.


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