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EAC Chairman visits polling station of Kaifong Representative Election (with photos)

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

     The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) Chairman, Mr Justice Barnabas Fung Wah, visited the polling station of the 2015 Kaifong Representative Election for the market town of Cheung Chau today (January 25) to observe its operation.

     "During the poll which ended at 8pm, an EAC member and I visited the polling stations in Peng Chau and Cheung Chau respectively. The operation of the polling stations was smooth and we are pleased with the electoral arrangements," Mr Justice Fung said.

     Polls for the 2015 Rural Representative Election were held on four consecutive Sundays from January 4. With the smooth completion of the Village Representative Election over the past three Sundays, the polling day of the Kaifong Representative Election which was brought under the purview of the EAC for the first time was conducted today.

     "After the completion of the count of the Kaifong Representative Election, the whole 2015 Rural Representative Election will also come to an end. On behalf of the EAC, I express gratitude to all the staff of the polling and counting stations, as well as departments involved, for making proper arrangements for the election," he said.

     In response to the concern from some quarters on the accuracy of the information in the registers of electors of the Rural Representative Election, Mr Justice Fung reiterated that an elector whose registered address appeared to be incomplete did not necessarily mean that his/her registration eligibility would be doubtful. As long as the elector actually resides in the Existing Village concerned, he/she is still eligible to vote.

     The eligibility requirements for electors in the Indigenous Inhabitant Representative Election and Resident Representative Election are not the same. With the basis on clan history and line of descendants, the eligibility requirements for indigenous inhabitants have nothing to do with their residential addresses. Electors are not required by law to provide their principal residential addresses. The change of residential addresses of indigenous inhabitants, therefore, would not affect their eligibility to register as electors.

     As for the Resident Representative Election, electors are required to provide their principal residential addresses to ensure that the electors' residences are located within the boundaries of the Existing Villages concerned. Once electors of Existing Villages move out of the villages concerned, they will lose their registration status and eligibility to vote.

     "In order to avoid unnecessary doubts and worries among members of the public, the Home Affairs Department (HAD) will review the situation and follow up on cases with incomplete addresses. It will pay extra attention to information on residential addresses in compiling the next registers of electors.

     "Moreover, the HAD will continue to implement various checking measures and refer cases to the law enforcement agencies to follow up if there are reasonable doubts that false information is used by electors to register," Mr Justice Fung said.

     In addition, to tie in with this year's District Council Election, the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) has stepped up checking measures with respect to the registration particulars of geographical constituency electors. The REO has been issuing enquiry letters to some of the electors requesting them to confirm their registered addresses.

     Mr Justice Fung reminded electors who have received the enquiry letters to respond by the deadline to avoid the loss of registration status and eligibility to vote in the 2015 District Council Election inadvertently.

Ends/Sunday, January 25, 2015
Issued at HKT 22:03


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