Election Committee members urged to vote tomorrow (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, called on Election Committee (EC) members to cast their votes in the 2017 Chief Executive Election tomorrow (March 26).

     Mr Justice Fung, together with the Returning Officer, Madam Justice Carlye Chu Fun-ling, visited the main polling station in the Grand Hall, 3/F, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), Wanchai today (March 25), and noted that all the arrangements for the polling station are already in place.

     The first round of voting will start at 9am and close at 11am tomorrow.
     "I appeal to EC members to arrive at the main polling station before 10am to avoid the rush towards the end of the poll," Mr Justice Fung said.

     "In any case, EC members must arrive at the main polling station on 3/F of HKCEC by 11am so that they can vote in the first round of voting," he said.

     EC members must take their Hong Kong Identity Card to the main polling station to vote. They are also required to bring along their name badge of EC member to facilitate admission to the HKCEC.

     "As with other elections, the ballot is secret and conducted in a confidential manner. The EAC attaches great importance to voting secrecy," Mr Justice Fung stressed.

     "According to the law, ballot papers will not be printed with numbers. Polling staff are prohibited from recording which particular ballot paper is issued to an elector. EC members are not obliged to disclose any information on their voting preference. After being issued a ballot paper, the EC member is required to enter a voting compartment alone to mark the ballot paper, fold the ballot paper inward and put it into the ballot box.
     "At the polling station, each voting compartment is independent and covered, and all recording devices of the closed circuit television system inside the polling station have already been removed," he said.

     In addition, EC members are not allowed to communicate with other electors inside the polling station, including, in particular, showing the vote on the ballot paper to others. They are also not allowed to bring the ballot paper out of the polling station.
     "EC members are not allowed to use mobile telephones or any other devices for communication purpose. Filming, photo-taking or making of any audio or video recording are also not allowed. To assist the Presiding Officer in enforcing the relevant regulation, EC members will be requested to switch off their mobile phones or other communication devices and put them away properly before entering the main polling station," he continued.

     Mr Justice Fung pointed out that sufficient manpower will be deployed to maintain order and handle any breach of the law. In the event that there is disruption or a breach of the law, cases will be immediately referred to the police on site for follow-up action.

     "On completion of the election, the Chief Electoral Officer is required by the law to retain in his custody the ballot papers and election documents for six months. I shall supervise the whole process in person. Unless otherwise directed by an order of court, no person is allowed to inspect any ballot paper and the ballot papers and relevant documents shall be destroyed immediately after the expiry of six months," he said.

     Should there be a need for more than one round of voting, the second and third rounds of voting will be held from 2pm to 3pm and from 7pm to 8pm tomorrow respectively.

     The counting of votes will be held in the central counting station in Hall F and G, 5/F, HKCEC shortly after the close of the poll for each round of voting. After polling, EC members are encouraged to stay to watch the count and wait for the declaration of election result.

     A designated area in the central counting station will be set up for members of the public to observe the count. In view of the limited seating capacity, admission to the public gallery will be arranged on a first come, first served basis from 10am tomorrow. To facilitate admission control, members of the public admitted to the venue will be required to wear a wristband provided by the Registration and Electoral Office for identification purpose.
     Information on the Chief Executive Election is available on the election website (www.elections.gov.hk).

     For enquiries, please call the election hotline on 2891 1001.

Ends/Saturday, March 25, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:32