Around 4.33 million electors receive poll cards for District Council Ordinary Election

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1st December 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Registration and Electoral Office (REO) has taken steps to ensure a smooth voting process for the upcoming 2023 District Council Ordinary Election in Hong Kong. With the election set to take place on 10th December (Sunday), the REO has mailed poll cards to approximately 4.33 million registered electors, providing them with essential information regarding their designated polling stations.

According to a spokesperson from the REO, electors should have already received their poll cards. However, in the event that they have not, they can access the Online Voter Information Enquiry System (vr.gov.hk) to check their registration status as well as the location of their designated polling stations. Additionally, electors can seek assistance by contacting the election hotline at 2891 1001 for any inquiries they may have.

For District Council geographical constituency (DCGC) electors, polling stations will be conveniently located near their registered addresses. These ordinary polling stations will be open for 14 hours, from 8:30 am to 10:30 pm, allowing electors ample time to cast their votes.

On the other hand, District Committees constituency (DCC) electors will be directed to polling stations specific to their respective DCCs. The polling hours for DCC electors will be from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, providing a six-hour window for voting. The REO has taken precautions to remind DCC electors, through the poll cards they received, that the DCC and DCGC polls will take place at different polling stations, each with its own distinct polling hours.

To ensure a smooth voting process, electors are reminded that they must cast their votes exclusively at their designated polling stations as specified on their poll cards. It is advised that they take note of the addresses of their designated polling stations to avoid any confusion. However, electors who have registered to vote at near boundary polling stations (NBPSs) may disregard the polling station information printed on their poll cards if they have received a notification of registration result from the REO via SMS and/or email.

In addition to the poll card, the REO has included several informative materials in the electoral mail sent to each elector. These materials include a printed copy of the introduction to candidates in their constituency, a location map of the designated polling station, a guide on voting procedures, and a leaflet on clean elections. Electors can also access the introduction to candidates, polling station location map, and clean elections leaflet on the election website (www.elections.gov.hk/dc2023/eng/pollinfo.html).

The voting process itself is straightforward. Electors must present the original copy of their Hong Kong identity card at the ballot paper issuing desk. The polling staff will scan the elector’s identity card using an Electronic Poll Register (EPR) system tablet to verify their information and issue the ballot paper. Electors can review their name, partial Hong Kong identity card number, and the constituency to which they belong on the tablet during the issuance process.

While the EPR system will be implemented at most polling stations, dedicated polling stations and those facing technical challenges due to remote locations or unstable network coverage will use the printed copy of the final register for issuing ballot papers.

For DCGC electors, the voting process involves using the chop provided by the polling station to stamp a tick in the circle corresponding to the candidate of their choice on the ballot paper within the voting compartment. The marked ballot paper is then inserted into the ballot box with the marked side facing down. Electors must remember to select only one candidate by stamping a tick, as any additional marks will render the ballot paper invalid.

For DCC electors, the process requires using the black pen provided at the polling station to fill in the ovals next to the names of their preferred candidates within the voting compartment. Electors must vote for the exact number of vacancies in their DCC, as any deviation will lead to the ballot paper being deemed invalid. DCC polling stations will have a ballot paper checking system to assist electors in verifying whether the number of marked candidates matches the number of seats available in the constituency. It’s important to note that the ballot paper checking system will not record or tally the electors’ choices. After marking the ballot paper, the elector should insert it into the ballot box with the marked side facing down.

The voting process ensures both autonomy and secrecy. Electors must mark their ballot papers independently within the voting compartment. If assistance is required, an elector may request the Presiding Officer (PRO) or the PRO’s deputy to mark the ballot paper according to their voting preference, with one polling staff serving as a witness. It is strictly prohibited for any elector to disturb others, use electronic devices for communication, take photographs, or make video or audio recordings at a polling station.