Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission Justice Barnabas Fung Wah (first right) is briefed by the Presiding Officer on the voting procedures during his visit to the polling station of the 2021 Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Sept 18, 2021. (PHOTO: HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission Justice Barnabas Fung Wah said on Saturday that most of the preparatory work for the 2021 Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections is nearing completion and that staff members would continue their work to ensure that the poll and vote count would be carried out smoothly.
An Electronic Poll Register System will also be used for the first time for issuing ballot papers at the polling station, for more efficient and accurate issuance of ballot papers
He made the remarks after visiting the polling station and central counting station at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
He thanked colleagues for their hard work and appealed to registered voters/authorized representatives (ARs) of corporate voters to vote on Sunday.
“In the 2021 ECSSOEs, there will be 412 candidates contesting a total of 364 seats in 13 subsectors. Five ordinary polling stations and one dedicated polling station at a police station will be set up for about 5,000 registered voters of the contested subsectors,” he said.
The polling hours will be from 9am to 6pm. Voters/ARs are reminded to bring their original of the Hong Kong identity card to cast their vote(s) at the polling station allocated, as specified on their poll card.
From past experience, more electors/voters chose to vote in the morning of polling day. However, to avoid long queues at the polling stations due to too many voters/ARs going to vote at the same time, they may choose to vote around noon or in the afternoon with comparatively less voters/ARs.
“An Electronic Poll Register System will also be used for the first time for issuing ballot papers at the polling station, for more efficient and accurate issuance of ballot papers,” he said.
In addition, two queues will be set up at the polling station for the first time: a special queue for persons who are aged 70 or above, persons who have difficulties in standing for a long time to queue due to their physical condition and pregnant women; another queue is for other voters/ARs. The Presiding Officers will flexibly deploy ballot paper issuing desks with a view to reducing the overall waiting time.
“We have produced a short video on the polling procedures and preventive measures for COVID-19 to be implemented in the polling stations,” he added.
The 2021 Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections will be held on Sunday (Sept 19). The polling staff will display the signage of “special queue” and “ordinary queue” which indicate the queue for people aged 70 or above, pregnant women and those who have difficulties in standing for a long time to queue due to their physical condition, and the queue for ordinary voters respectively.
Justice Fung also introduced the arrangements for the vote count.
Once the poll is closed, the ballot boxes of ordinary polling stations and dedicated polling station will be delivered to the central counting station at the HKCEC where counting of votes will take place.
“Candidates, election agents and counting agents can enter the central counting station to observe the count at the designated area,” he said.
There is also a media center at the HKCEC, where all the election results will be announced by Returning Officers. A public gallery will be set up at the media center for members of the public to watch the announcement of results. Given that social distancing should be maintained among the people in the venue, there will be about 350 seats in the public gallery. Admission to the public gallery will be opened from 6:30pm on Saturday on a first come, first served basis. To facilitate admission control, members of the public admitted to the venue will be required to wear a wristband provided by the REO for identification purpose.