19 February 2019
Erica Yuen Mi-ming (inset) was allowed to vote even though she carried only a copy of her ID card, and not the original. Photos: Reuters, Facebook/Yuen Mi-ming
Erica Yuen Mi-ming (inset) was allowed to vote even though she carried only a copy of her ID card, and not the original. Photos: Reuters, Facebook/Yuen Mi-ming

EAC receives over 1,000 complaints in relation to Legco election

With more than two million people casting their votes in the Legislative Council polls, marking a new record, the elections watchdog has also seen a surge in complaints in relation to the event.

As of 3 pm Sunday, the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) received a total of 1,088 complaints with regard to the election.

Of the complaints, 192 cases involved people having problems with the voter records or griping about poor arrangements at polling stations.

Meanwhile, 462 complaints were in relation to election advertisements, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

Albert Chan of People Power party, a sitting lawmaker who chose not to seek re-election this time, wrote on his Facebook page that the director of a polling station in Yat Tung Estate in New Territories West constituency allowed a person to vote even though the person presented only a copy of his identification card, and not the original as required by rules.

In reply to Chan’s inquiry, the polling station official claimed that his decision was based on the guidance that he received with regard to his discretionary powers.

Yuen Mi-ming, chairwoman of People Power, questioned the discretionary power, saying it could easily result in malpractices.

The EAC explained in a statement later that no voter can be given a ballot just by presenting a copy of the ID card.

However, exceptions can be made if a voter also presents other documents to prove his identity and the polling station staff are satisfied about the genuineness of the case.

Some people, meanwhile, complained that they were not able to get the district council (second) functional constituency ballots that were entitled to.

The EAC has yet given an explanation regarding the issue.

Rules stipulate that an elector who does not choose one of the functional constituencies during the registration process should be automatically listed as one for the second functional constituency, or the so-called super constituency.

Among other complaints, a person said that when went to claim her ballot she was told by staff at a polling station in Tsing Yi that she had already cast her vote.

Suspecting that someone may have impersonated her and cast her vote, the woman lodged a case of identity theft with the police.

In related news, some ballots were found to have been chipped on the upper left corner.

EAC chairman Barnabus Fung Wah explained it was done on purpose in order to help visually impaired persons to identify the ballots correctly, and there is no need to worry.

Apple Daily cited a voter in Sha Tin as saying that she saw her ballot stamped in favor of Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) even before she voted.

RTHK also reported similar incidents, fueling suspicions among some voters that the ballots may have been tampered to influence the election results.

Fung vowed that the EAC will investigate all complaints of irregularities.

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