When the clock chimes 10 tomorrow morning, on Nomination Day, the nine nomination centres islandwide will be open to candidates’ supporters and the public.
But before that, most candidates and their entourages would have gathered elsewhere for pep talks and final checks of forms.
For members of the People’s Action Party, these meeting points are usually their branch office. Opposition party members typically gather at their party headquarters.
Some smaller parties and independent candidates, however, may meet up outside their respective nomination centres.
Police have advised people to arrive at the centres only after 10am.
The critical hour begins at 11am.
Candidates have one hour, from 11am to noon, to file their papers at the correct nomination centre.
The administrative requirements they have to meet are strict.
Nomination forms must be complete and submitted in duplicate by the candidates in person.
These forms are: the nomination form, the political donation certificate, and the certificate issued by the Malay Community Committee or the Indian and Other Minority Communities Committee, if the candidates are to contest in a GRC.
Candidates must be accompanied by a proposer, a seconder and at least four assentors.
These individuals must be registered voters from the constituency that the candidates are contesting and have to be present when the nomination is filed.
This is the stage where teams have tripped up or had close shaves.
In 2011, a group of independents planning to contest Tanjong Pagar GRC turned up at around 11.30am at their nomination centre, but were disqualified after filing their nomination forms late.
In the 2001 General Election, a Workers’ Party team was disqualified from contesting when its nomination papers were found to be incomplete, as it had not filled in a blank for the name of the ward it wanted to contest: Aljunied GRC.
If candidates fill in their forms incorrectly, they must correct the problems flagged by the Elections Department – by noon.
Objections to the nomination papers can be made in writing between 11am and 12.30pm by any rival candidate for the same constituency or any of the proposers, seconders or assentors.
Each candidate must also fork out his or her election deposit of $14,500. This can be in cash, bank draft or cheque.
If there is no contest in a constituency, the assistant returning officers at each centre will declare a walkover for that division.
If there is a contest, the candidates’ names will be put up on a notice board at the centre.
Candidates can also apply for permits to hold election meetings and vehicle processions in the areas they are contesting.
The meetings can be held indoors or outdoors for eight days, from Sept 2 to 9, between 7am and 10pm.
Candidates can use perambulating vehicles fitted with loudspeakers between 2pm and 10pm tomorrow, and between 7am and 10pm for the remainder of the campaign.
Outdoor meetings, which can be held in stadiums, open fields and open spaces, must take place at the space specified in the permit.
The list of outdoor rally sites will be released at the end of nomination proceedings tomorrow.
Permit applications for meetings have to be made before 2.30pm the day before a scheduled meeting, except for those on Sept 2, for which the Police Elections Permits Office in the Police Cantonment Complex will accept applications until 4pm on Sept 1.
Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are banned at nomination centres, rally sites and assembly centres. Police have also said that non-citizens, bankrupts, persons who have been associated with criminal activity as well as primary and secondary students cannot take part in any election activity.