3.37 million electors urged to vote today in Legislative Council Election (with photo)

The following is issued on behalf of the Electoral Affairs Commission:

     Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission, Mr Justice Pang Kin-kee, has called on electors to cast their vote as early as possible in the Legislative Council election today (September 7).

     He made the appeal this morning after visiting the polling station at Leighton Hill Community Hall in Happy Valley.

     A total of 532 polling stations across Hong Kong are open from 7.30am to 10.30pm today for more than 3.37 million registered electors to cast their votes.

     As at 10.30am, 190,864 geographical constituency electors and 14,030 functional constituency electors have voted, bringing the accumulative turnout rates to 5.66% and 6.61% respectively.

     "Voting is simple. It takes you only a few minutes to exercise your right," Mr Justice Pang said.

     He reminded voters again that they should follow the proper procedures when voting.

     "Electors should bring along their Hong Kong Identity Card to the designated polling station specified on the poll card.

     "A geographical constituency elector should use the chop provided to stamp a 'tick' on the ballot paper in the circle opposite the chosen list of candidates, and fold the ballot paper inward in half before putting it into the blue ballot box.

     "Ballot papers for functional constituencies should be put into the red ballot box, face down without being folded," he said.

     A total of 142 candidates who belong to 53 lists will compete for 30 seats in five geographical constituencies, while 45 candidates will run for 16 seats in 16 functional constituencies. Fourteen candidates in 12 functional constituencies are returned uncontested.

     Mr Justice Pang and the other two members of the Commission, Mr Lawrence Lok Ying-kam, SC, and Professor Andrew Chan Chi-fai, will inspect various polling stations across Hong Kong to see how electoral activities are conducted.

     Hourly voter turnouts and election results can be found at www.elections.gov.hk.

     Electors who do not have a poll card in hand may call 2891 1001 to enquire about the polling station they should visit. The hotline will operate until 11pm tonight.

     Complaints about the election can be made to the hotline 2827 7251.

Ends/Sunday, September 7, 2008
Issued at HKT 12:42