SINGAPORE, Aug 31 — Claims circulating on the internet and on messaging platforms about the new X-stamp provided by the Elections Department (ELD) for the Presidential Election 2023 containing disappearing ink are false, the ELD said in a statement today (August 31).

The ELD said that it is aware of such false information resurfacing online, adding that the information is “categorically” untrue.

“The marks made using the X-stamp are permanent. The ink used in the X-stamp is oil-based, and is water and temperature resistant,” said the department.

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It is not clear which online post or message ELD was referring to, but a check online showed some posts on Facebook calling for voters to use their own pens to mark a cross in the box “to play safe”.

The posts also falsely claimed that certain polling districts were issued with “special rubber stamps with disappearing ink”, which will lead to blank votes.

This was not the first time that ELD had to debunk false claims about its provided stamp. On Polling Day of the 2020 general election, ELD refuted falsehoods that the newly introduced self-inking “X-Pens” did not stamp properly at polling booths and caused votes to be invalid.

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ELD said its new and improved X-stamp, which is wider and more clearly intended to serve as a stamp, will be provided for use in the 2023 Presidential Election, although it is not compulsory for voters to use them. Voters may still bring their own pens to mark the ballot papers.

Said the department: “ELD is committed to ensuring voting security and secrecy, and has put in place rigorous controls at every step of the voting process to ensure this.”

In addition to the new X-stamps, the ELD also announced in July that it will increase the number of polling stations by 15 per cent, from 1,097 in the 2020 General Election to 1,264 in subsequent elections.

Polling stations will also have more registration and ballot paper counters to reduce waiting time for voters.

Singaporeans will head to the polls on Friday, September 1 to vote for the country’s ninth president. The three presidential candidates are Ng Kok Song, former chief investment officer of sovereign wealth fund GIC, former Cabinet minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Tan Kin Lian, former chief executive officer of NTUC Income insurance cooperative. ― TODAY