Date
23 September 2017
Voters line up outside a polling station in Lam Tin Sunday night to cast their ballots in the Legco election. Photo: HKEJ
Voters line up outside a polling station in Lam Tin Sunday night to cast their ballots in the Legco election. Photo: HKEJ

Legco polls see record 58% turnout

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council polls saw a record high turnout rate, an indication of the importance that locals attached to the city’s first major election since the 2014 pro-democracy protests.

About 2.2 million people, representing 58 percent of the eligible voters, cast their ballots in the Sunday election, according to provisional figures from the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC).

That marks a new high in the turnout in such elections since Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule in 1997.

In the previous Legco election in 2012, 1.8 million people cast their votes, representing 53 percent of the electorate, RTHK reports.

Meanwhile, 1.98 million people, or 57 percent of the electorate, took part in the District Council (second) functional constituency, or the so-called Super Seats, in the Sunday contest.

That also marked a 5 percent increase from the 52 percent of voters who cast ballots four years ago.

In the other functional constituency elections, 170,000 people, or 74 percent, voted.

Vote-counting is now underway, and the first results are expected later on Monday morning.

In related news, EAC Chairman Barnabas Fung has apologized for “unsatisfactory” polling arrangements in Taikoo.

In the district, hundreds of people were seen queuing up until 2:30 am Monday to cast their ballots, some four hours after the official close of polling stations.

According to Fung, problems arose as a secondary school in the district refused to lend out its premises to the election authorities, forcing the EAC to make do with much smaller voting venues.

Many people told RTHK that they had returned to the polling station several times on Sunday, in hopes of finding a shorter queue, only to find that the line kept on growing.

Due to the delay in voting at Taikoo Shing, the results of the election could be delayed somewhat, according to the report.

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RC

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