Electoral Office warns against invalid votes in Hong Kong District Council Election

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30th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Registration and Electoral Office (REO) has issued a statement today (November 30) addressing concerns regarding an internet appeal urging electors to mark two ticks on their ballot papers during the upcoming District Council Ordinary Election on December 10. The appeal suggests that marking two ticks will render the ballot papers invalid. The REO emphasizes that according to electoral legislation, voters are only allowed to mark one tick in the designated circle next to the name of their chosen candidate, using the official chop provided at the polling station. This ensures that the voter’s selection is clearly indicated. Any ballot paper with more than one tick will be considered invalid.

To ensure that electors are well-informed about the polling procedures and the necessary guidelines, the REO has made comprehensive information available on the election website (www.elections.gov.hk) and has also disseminated it through television, radio, and online platforms. Additionally, the relevant polling procedures have been included in the poll cards recently mailed to electors. On the day of the election, polling staff will once again remind electors in the District Council geographical constituency (DCGC) that they can only vote for one candidate by marking a single tick on the ballot paper. These measures aim to facilitate a smooth election process and enable electors to vote for their preferred and trusted candidates. The REO urges electors to pay close attention to the polling requirements and guidelines, including voting at the designated polling station, adhering to polling hours, and bringing their identity card for identification purposes.

It is important to note that engaging in illegal activities to incite others not to vote or to cast invalid votes during the election period is considered an offence under the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance. Those found guilty may face a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of HK$200,000.

The REO’s statement serves as a reminder to electors to follow the established electoral procedures and guidelines to ensure the integrity of the voting process. By adhering to these regulations, voters can exercise their democratic rights effectively and contribute to a fair and transparent election. The REO’s efforts to provide clear information and reminders through various channels demonstrate their commitment to facilitating a smooth and successful District Council Ordinary Election.