|LCQ18: Final register of electors for Health Services FC
Following is a question by Hon Michael Mak and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (April 28):
It is learnt that 3,054 or 9.6% of the electors who were already registered in 2000 for the Health Services functional constituency ("FC") have not been included in the 2003 final register concerned. The main reason for their deletion from the register is that their registered addresses are no longer their principal residential addresses (i.e. they have not informed the Registration and Electoral Office ("REO") of the change of address). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) whether it regularly verifies the information in the register of the Health Services FC by sampling; if it does, of the criteria and method of sampling;
(b) of the respective numbers of cases in which enquiries or inquiries were made on whether the registered addresses of the registered electors in the above register were their principal residential addresses and the replies received over the past three years; the information they were requested to provide and the time they were given to make their replies; whether the Administration has made such inquiries on each of the above deletion cases; if it has, of the method and timetable of the inquiries; if not, the reasons for that; and
(c) of the information on which it based for judging that a registered elector has moved but not informed the REO?
Taking the question raised by the Honourable Michael Mak as a whole, our reply is as follows:
Pursuant to Section 22 of the Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration) (Electors for Legislative Council Functional Constituencies) (Voters for Election Committee Subsectors) (Members of Election Committee) Regulation (Cap.541B) (hereafter referred to as the "Regulation"), the Electoral Registration Officer may make inquires that he considers fit regarding persons registered in the functional constituencies ("FC") final register to ascertain the relevant information in the register. In general, the Electoral Registration Officer will make inquiries regarding registered electors under the following circumstances:
(a) polling cards sent to the relevant electors in past election were returned;
(b) according to the information provided by the Housing Department and the Rating and Valuation Department, the buildings which the relevant electors registered as their residential addresses have been demolished;
(c) information collected by the Home Affairs Department when conducting door-to-door registration and updating electors' information during past voter registration exercises is different from that contained in the voter register; and
(d) information on eligible FC electors provided by organisations concerned indicates that the relevant information has changed.
All inquiries are made in writing by the Electoral Registration Officer, and sent by registered post addressed to the person from whom it is made.
In order to verify an elector's correct principal residential address, the Electoral Registration Officer will, in the inquiry, request the elector to provide a correct principal residential address before the deadline for voter registration of the year concerned. Under Section 24(1) of the Regulation, those who fail to reply on time will have their names entered on the omissions list prepared for the compilation of a FC register. The omissions list will be available for public inspection at REO and at specified district offices during a specified period. If those in the omissions list do not lodge a notice of claim to the Revising Officer through the Electoral Registration Officer within the period specified by the law, they will not be included in the FC final register. The cases of all persons who fail to provide a correct principal residential address to the Electoral Registration Officer and are consequently not included in the FC final register are processed according to the above procedures.
From 2001 to 2003, the Electoral Registration Officer made inquires to a total of 3,155 registered electors of the Health Services FC according to the above procedures and received 596 replies. All those who replied were able to remain on the final register of the Health Services FC. Those who did not make timely reply and were therefore excluded from the FC final register can apply to REO in future for re-registration. If they are eligible to be registered, their particulars will be included in the next relevant provisional register.
Ends/Wednesday, April 28, 2004