Hong Kong Election Committee polls go smoothly

A voter arrives at a polling station for the 2021 Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections at Kowloon Park on Sept 19, 2021. - China Daily

HONG KONG (China Daily/Asia News Network): The 2021 Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections ran smoothly on Sunday (Sept 19), with more than 80 per cent of voters casting their ballots in the first seven hours of the first election under the city’s new electoral system.

Around 80.51 per cent of the nearly 5,000 voters registered for the 13 contested subsectors had cast their ballots by 3pm. The turnout rate in all the subsectors surpassed 50 per cent, with Technology and Innovation reaching 98.15 per cent while the Legal subsector had a 100 per cent turnout.

After inspecting the polling stations in the morning, Fung Wah, chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission, said that while there were new election arrangements, such as the electronic registration system, the voting basically ran smoothly.

Noting that many polling stations were overcrowded in the morning, Fung called on voters to come to polling stations at different hours to avoid long lines.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang Kwok-wai said he was satisfied with the initial turnout after inspecting the Sha Tin Town Hall polling station.

Tsang noted that the electronic registration system is stable as it has gone through several tests. The government also prepared backup plans should there be any glitches, he added.

He said the government will consider setting up polling stations at the checkpoints with Shenzhen, in the legislative election slated for Dec 19 to allow those stranded on the Chinese mainland to vote despite the travel restrictions during the pandemic.

Lawmaker Edward Lau Kwok-fan said at a polling station that, contrary to some previous elections that saw malicious competition, Sunday’s voting had an improved atmosphere, with voters able to focus more on the political platforms of the candidates.

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