Electors urged to follow proper voting procedures (with photos)

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

     The Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC), Mr Justice Barnabas Fung Wah, reminded electors to follow proper voting procedures in the Legislative Council Election on Sunday (September 9).

     "Electors should take their Hong Kong Identity Card to the designated polling station specified on the poll card," Mr Justice Fung said after visiting a mock polling station at Mei Foo Community Hall this afternoon (September 2).

     The mock polling station at Mei Foo Community Hall is one of four open for electors to familiarise themselves with voting procedures. Another one will be set up at Leighton Hill Community Hall. Both will be opened from tomorrow to Saturday (September 3 to 8). The mock polling stations at Tuen Mun Town Hall and Tai Po Community Centre will be opened from Wednesday to Saturday (September 5 to 8). All will be opened from noon to 8pm. Appointments for group visits can be made by calling the hotline 3104 2594 or using the fax 2834 0934.

     Except for Mei Foo Community Hall, the other three mock polling stations will not be able to accept pre-arranged group visits on September 8 (Saturday) owing to the need to prepare for the poll the next day.

     "The 'one-person-two-votes' arrangement is implemented in the forthcoming election. Of about 3,466,000 registered geographical constituency (GC) electors, about 3,220,000 electors who do not belong to any of the 28 traditional functional constituencies (FCs) can cast one vote each in their respective GC and the newly created District Council (second) functional constituency," Mr Justice Fung said.

     "When voting, these electors should only choose one candidate list from each ballot paper and use the chop provided to stamp a 'tick' in the circle next to the chosen list.

     "They should then fold the ballot papers inward once and put the GC ballot paper whose pattern on the back is blue into the blue ballot box and the District Council (second) functional constituency ballot paper whose back is mainly white into the white ballot box," he added.

     The ballot papers of the traditional FCs should be put into the red ballot box.

     Mr Justice Fung is also very concerned about the rise of election-related complaints.

     "I notice that election-related complaints, especially those on election advertisements, have increased quite significantly, perhaps because of the keen competition among candidates.

     "I solemnly appeal to all candidates to abide by the guidelines on election-related activities and the electoral laws. The EAC and the law enforcement agencies concerned will strictly enforce the electoral laws and the guidelines having regard to the circumstances when dealing with unlawful cases," Mr Justice Fung said.

     A total of 549 ordinary polling stations and 25 dedicated polling stations across Hong Kong will be opened on the polling day on September 9 for registered electors to cast their votes.

     The polling hours for the ordinary polling stations and the three dedicated polling stations set up at police stations will be from 7.30am to 10.30pm. For the 22 dedicated polling stations set up in penal institutions, for security reasons, the polling hours will be from 9am to 4pm.

     Mr Justice Fung reminded electors about the importance of safeguarding the secrecy of votes.

     "Electors should mark the ballot papers by themselves inside a voting compartment. An elector in need may ask the Presiding Officer or his deputy to mark the ballot paper on his behalf, in the presence of a polling staff as witness," he said.

     Electors must not use mobile phones or other electronic communication devices, take photographs, or do video or audio recording inside a polling station.

     Distribution of election advertisements and display of propaganda material, such as any badge, emblem, clothing or head-dress inside polling stations is also prohibited, he said.

     "Once the poll closes, most polling stations will be converted into counting stations for the GC votes. Ballot boxes of all FCs, including the District Council (second) functional constituency, will be delivered to the Central Counting Station at the AsiaWorld-Expo where counting of votes will take place," Mr Justice Fung said.

     All counting stations will be opened to the public once the count commences. Members of the public will be able to watch the counting process at designated areas inside the counting stations. Information on the special transport arrangements and food and beverage service of the Central Counting Station is available on the election website (www.elections.gov.hk).

     In this election, a total of 216 candidates belonging to 67 lists will run for 35 seats in the GCs. While 18 candidates belonging to seven lists will contest the five seats in the District Council (second) functional constituency, 37 candidates will compete for 14 other FC seats.

     Electors may call the election hotline on 2891 1001 for enquiries.

Ends/Sunday, September 2, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:53