Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor delivers a video speech at the inauguration ceremony of the GBA Carbon Neutrality Association, Dec 10, 2021. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Tuesday the government is fully prepared for the upcoming Legislative Council Election on Dec 19.
Ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam stressed the importance of the first LegCo election after the electoral revamp, saying that the government has mobilized a large number of staff to ensure the smooth conduct of the election.
Free public transport will also be provided on election day to facilitate the voting, Lam said.
Lam said the government, as well as many non-governmental entities, have done sufficient promotion work to familiarize residents with the candidates and relevant voting arrangements.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government, as well as many non-governmental entities, have done sufficient promotion work to familiarize residents with the candidates and relevant voting arrangements
Lam added that about 3 million brochures – which contain information about candidates of geographical constituency – have been delivered to communities.
She also noted that many officials, including chief secretary, secretary for justice and secretary for security, made promotional videos on Monday, calling for voters to cast their vote on election day.
The new-term Legislative Council will start sessions in January next year, Lam said, adding that she will administer the oath personally.
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About 4.47 million registered electors are expected to cast their votes between 8:30 am and 10:30 pm on Sunday, to return 90 lawmakers: 20 from geographical constituencies, 30 from functional constituencies, and 40 from the Election Committee constituency.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission Justice Barnabas Fung Wah called on electors to exercise their civil rights to vote and to follow proper voting procedures in the LegCo election.
The EAC has made several changes to the vote counting arrangements to speed up the whole process with a view to declare the election result sooner, Fung said at a media session after his visit to a mock polling station at North Point Community Hall on Tuesday.
After the close of polls, polling stations, except for small polling stations at which less than 500 electors are assigned to vote, dedicated polling stations, the Election Committee constituency polling station and the polling station at the Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre will be designated as counting stations for the counting of the geographical constituency votes.
Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission Justice Barnabas Fung Wah demonstrates the proper procedure to cast votes in the Legislative Council General Election during his visit to a mock polling station at the North Point Community Hall on Dec 14, 2021. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
The ballot boxes of all functional constituencies and the Election Committee constituency will be delivered to the central counting station at the Convention & Exhibition Centre for counting.
Fung said flexibility counts in the vote counting procedures.
“In the past, there were quite elaborate rules as to vote counting, as to what sort of documents, what sort of ballot account reconciliations that the staff have to do before the vote counting starts. That was to ensure that everyone follows the same rules. But I think sometimes, flexibility is what is called for,” Fung said.
“Firstly, we will proceed to the vote counting once the basic documents, the basic accounts are in. If there are other discrepancies, they can be dealt with later,” he said.
“Secondly, we are going to send the functional constituency ballot boxes to the central counting station straight away without waiting for the misplaced functional constituency votes in the geographical constituency ballot boxes,” he added.
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And if there were misplaced functional constituency votes in the geographical constituency ballot boxes upon counting of the geographical constituency votes, Fung said those would be sealed and sent to the central counting station.
“Thirdly, we have instructed the supervisors to look at the entire situation. Even if some rules were not met in strict compliance, and if the situation warrants, then we will continue with the voting. And we will deal with these discrepancies with reconciliations later,” he said
As for the boundary control point polling stations, Fung said they will adopt closed-loop management. To enhance the openness and transparency of the counting process there, Independent Commission Against Corruption officers will monitor the process and the Registration & Electoral Office is making arrangements for live broadcasts of the vote counting, he added.