Electors reminded to carry the original of their Hong Kong identity card to vote at Legislative Council by-election on March 11


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The 2018 Legislative Council By-election will be held on March 11. The Registration and Electoral Office (REO) today (March 1) reminded electors that they must carry the original of their Hong Kong identity card to the designated polling station to vote.

     The REO has mailed poll cards to about 2.1 million registered electors of the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East geographical constituencies (GCs) and the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape (ASPL) functional constituency (FC) to inform them of where they should cast their votes on the polling day.

     "Electors may only cast their votes at the designated polling station as specified on their poll card. They are advised to note the address of the designated polling station on their poll card to ensure that they go to the correct polling station," a spokesman for the REO said.

     "Electors of the relevant GCs or FC can log in to the Online Voter Information Enquiry System (http://www.voterinfo.gov.hk/" target="_blank">www.voterinfo.gov.hk) if they have not yet received their poll card to check whether they are registered electors and their designated polling station.

They can also call the election hotline 2891 1001 for enquiries," he said.

     In addition to the poll card, the electoral mail sent by the REO to each elector of the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East GCs and the ASPL FC also includes the introductory leaflet(s) on the candidates in his or her GC and/or FC, a map indicating the location of the designated polling station, a voting procedure guide and a publicity leaflet on clean elections.

      "Electors must carry the original of their Hong Kong identity card or other specified alternative documents to the designated polling station to collect their ballot papers to cast their votes," the spokesman said.

     "Voting is very simple. Electors must use the chop provided by the polling stations to stamp the ballot papers with a tick in the circle opposite the name of the chosen candidate. GC electors should fold the ballot paper once according to the pre-folding by polling staff to conceal the mark before putting the ballot paper into the blue ballot box.

For FC electors, they should turn the ballot paper face down, without folding, and insert it into the red ballot box."

     A total of 334 ordinary polling stations and a maximum of 24 dedicated polling stations will be open on the polling day for about 2.1 million electors of the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East GCs and the ASPL FC listed on the 2017 Final Register to cast their votes. Among them, 319 ordinary polling stations will be set up for the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East GCs. Fifteen ordinary polling stations will also be set up to serve the ASPL FC electors in Kowloon East and New Territories West.

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 dedicated polling stations set up at penal institutions, for security reasons, the polling hours will be from 9am to 4pm.

     Once the poll closes, most polling stations in the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East GCs will be converted into counting stations for the GC votes. The counting stations will be open to the public once the conversion has been completed. Members of the public will be able to watch the counting process at designated areas inside the counting stations.

Ballot boxes for the ASPL FC will be delivered to the Central Counting Station at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), where the counting of votes will take place.

     In addition to the Central Counting Station, there will also be a media centre at the HKCEC, where the election results for all GCs and the FC will be announced by the Returning Officers. A public gallery will be set up for members of the public to watch the announcement of results at the media centre. In view of the limited seating capacity, admission to the public gallery will be arranged on a first-come, first-served basis from 11pm on March 11.

To facilitate admission control, members of the public admitted to the venue will be required to wear a wristband provided by the REO for identification purposes.

     Measures have been taken by the REO to enable electors with special needs to exercise their right to vote. "In this by-election, over 90 per cent of the polling stations are accessible to electors with mobility difficulty or those who use wheelchairs. Where possible, the REO will install temporary ramps at polling stations to assist them," the spokesman said.

     The location map enclosed with the poll card specifies clearly whether the designated polling station is accessible to electors who are wheelchair users or have mobility difficulty.

     "Electors with mobility difficulty or those who use wheelchairs may apply to the REO by March 6 (Tuesday) (i.e. at least five days before the polling day) through the election hotline (2891 1001), fax (2891 1180) or email (reoenq@reo.gov.hk) for re-allocation to another polling station in case they have been allocated to a polling station inaccessible to them.

If possible, the REO will also arrange for rehab buses to take them to and from polling stations upon request," he added.

     On the other hand, the Electoral Affairs Commission encourages candidates to provide a text version of their introduction to enable electors with visual impairment to understand the content using software aids. The text versions provided by candidates have been uploaded to the election website (http://www.elections.gov.hk/" target="_blank">www.elections.gov.hk). Electors with visual impairment may also listen to the candidates' introductions by calling the dedicated telephone line 2893 3762.

Braille templates will be provided at polling stations to assist electors with visual impairment to vote.

     To help ethnic minority electors who are not familiar with Chinese and English cast their votes, guides on the voting procedure in seven ethnic minority languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog, Thai, Hindi, Nepali, Urdu and Punjabi) will be available at every polling station. Information on the by-election in these languages has also been uploaded to the election website.

     The REO has also made arrangements with the Centre for Harmony and Enhancement of Ethnic Minority Residents run by the Hong Kong Christian Service to provide a telephone simultaneous interpretation service with the seven languages to help electors who are not familiar with Chinese and English make enquiries to the REO on election matters during the two weeks prior to and on the polling day.

     A pictorial guide showing the voting procedure will also be provided at polling stations to help electors with hearing or communication problems and electors who are not familiar with Chinese and English to understand the voting procedure.

     Information about the by-election is available on the election website (http://www.elections.gov.hk/" target="_blank">www.elections.gov.hk). For enquiries, please call the election hotline on 2891 1001.



Published on: 2018-03-01

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