No one lost voter registration status due to ID card change: REO

June 19, 2019 17:12
The Registration and Electoral Office has dismissed talk of voters losing their electoral registration status due to replacement of smart identity cards. Photo: HKEJ

There has not been any case of a registered elector losing his or her voter registration status due to issues arising from the replacement of Hong Kong identity cards, the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) said, dismissing allegations.

In clarifications made on Tuesday in response to online chatter and media reports which suggested that some voters lost their registration status due to issues with the Immigration Department's computer system in the course of replacement of smart identity cards, the REO said it can confirm that no such glitch took place.

Hong Kong citizens have begun to switch to next-generation smart ID cards in phases starting from the fourth quarter last year.

Meanwhile, eligible people who want to vote in the District Council Ordinary Election to be held in November are required to submit applications for new registration by a statutory deadline of July 2.

According to the REO, a total of about 280,000 electors had, in the course of replacing their smart identity cards, authorized the Immigration Department to transfer their particulars to the office for the purpose of updating the registers of electors between December 27 last year and May 31, 2019.

The REO admitted that while data of only 50,000 electors were successfully transferred as of June 3 due to computer system issues, transfer of the rest had been completed on June 5, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The office noted it is now in the process of checking all electors' information. If it finds any discrepancies, the office will contact the concerned people for verification and updating their registered particulars, the REO said.

According to the agency, it has finished checks against the particulars of about 20,000 electors as of Monday and found that about 10 percent of them needed to update their addresses.

The REO said it attaches great importance to the accuracy and integrity of the particulars of registered electors.

To ease public concerns, a spokesperson for the Immigration Department pointed out that if citizens update their personal information when applying for new ID cards, such information will be transferred to the REO without any change made to their voter qualifications.

A delay in data transfer will not cause already registered people to lose their qualifications to vote, which can only be decided by the REO, the spokesman said.

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