Amendment regulations on voter registration arrangements to be gazetted
Three amendment regulations to amend the subsidiary legislation under the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance (Cap. 541), which set out the requirement for electors to submit address proofs when submitting applications for change of registered principal residential address (registered address), will be gazetted this Friday (October 20). To tie in with the new requirement, the statutory deadline for applying for change of registration particulars (COP) will also be advanced by 30 days.
"The existing voter registration (VR) system is a voluntary system based on the principles of honest reporting and facilitating registration. The requirement of submitting address proofs for change of registered addresses will help the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) to verify the accuracy of the electors' address information, and enhance accuracy and credibility of the registers of electors," a spokesman for the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) said.
To allow more time for processing applications because of the need to cross-check the address description and to seek clarification from the electors in doubtful cases, the statutory deadline for applications for COP will be advanced by 30 days. Hence, after implementation of the proposals, the statutory deadline for COP will fall on April 2 in non-District Council (DC) election years or June 2 in DC election years. The current statutory deadlines for applications for new registration (i.e. May 2 in non-DC election years or July 2 for DC election years) will remain unchanged.
"To minimise the inconvenience that may arise in the provision of address proofs, electors who are registered tenants of public housing estates under the Housing Department (HD) or Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) will be exempted from the requirement for producing address proofs when they apply for change of registered addresses. The REO will check with the HD and HKHS to verify electors' address information in the latest tenancy records," the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, the address proof requirement will similarly be applied to COP applications for the Resident Representative (ReR) and Kaifong Representative (KFR) elections for the purpose of compiling such registers. Such a requirement will not be applicable to the Indigenous Inhabitant Representative (IIR) election, as the eligibility for inclusion in the register for Indigenous Villages and Composite Indigenous Villages is determined by the electors' lineage instead of residence. For the sake of consistency, the statutory deadline for COP applications in respect of the ReR, KFR and IIR elections will also be advanced by 30 days from July 16 to June 16 to allow sufficient time to process the applications.
The three amended regulations comprise the EAC (Registration of Electors) (Legislative Council Geographical Constituencies) (District Council Constituencies) Regulation (Cap. 541A), the EAC (Registration) (Electors for Legislative Council Functional Constituencies) (Voters for Election Committee Subsectors) (Members of Election Committee) Regulation (Cap. 541B), and the EAC (Registration of Electors) (Rural Representative Election) Regulation (Cap. 541K).
The amendment regulations will be tabled in the Legislative Council on October 25, 2017 for negative vetting. Subject to negative vetting by the Legislative Council, they will come into operation on February 1, 2018.
Ends/Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:00
Issued at HKT 17:00