Hong Kong now has a total of 3,814,318 registered voters, an increase of 9,249 from the previous year and marking a new high, according to the 2018 final register of electors released Wednesday.
As per the Registration and Electoral Office (REO), the number of people who are currently entitled to vote is estimated to be about 4.782 million.
That translates to a registration rate of about 79.8 percent, also a record high, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
In terms of geographical constituencies, New Territories West has 1,102,603 electors, the most of all, while Kowloon West has the least electors with only 487,160.
As for the remaining three geographical constituencies, Hong Kong Island has 616,732 registered voters, while Kowloon East has 613,183 and New Territories East has 994,640.
New Territories West, New Territories East and Kowloon East recorded increases in elector numbers compared to last year, while Kowloon West and Hong Kong Island saw their numbers decline.
The REO said a total of about 73,000 electors had their registration canceled either because they passed away or failed to provide a verifiable latest address.
Kowloon West, where a by-election for the Legislative Council seat left vacant by ousted pro-democracy lawmaker Lau Siu-lai is scheduled for Nov. 25, has added 13,000 newly registered electors, accounting for 2.83 percent of the total in the constituency, with the ratio being the highest among the five constituencies.
What’s worth noting is that more young people seem to be wanting to participate in political affairs by exercising their voting right.
Data from the REO show the registration rate for the age group of 18 to 30 years is now above 70 percent, compared to less than 60 percent in 2013. At the same time, the rate for the age group of 36 to 70 years is higher than 80 percent.
Political commentator Ma Ngok, who is an associate professor at the department of government and public administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, believes the changes in elector registers are not large enough to impact future elections as the registration rate is near a saturation point plus the fact that only small changes were seen in non-election years.
Meanwhile, HKEJ noticed that multiple functional constituencies that are currently represented by members from the pan-democratic camp have suffered loss in elector numbers, especially in the information technology functional constituency, which has seen the number of electors fall 28.68 percent from a year earlier.
Lawmaker Charles Mok Nai-kwong, a pan-democrat who represents the constituency, said it’s not a rare situation. As 2018 is not an election year, fewer voter registrations is understandable, he said.
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