The Government issued today (January 16) the Consultation Paper on Improvement Measures of the Voter Registration System to collect views from the public.
"To address the recent public concern on the accuracy and integrity of the residential addresses recorded in the register of electors, the Government has conducted a review of the existing voter registration system. To collect views from the public on a number of related issues, the consultation paper sets out the existing voter registration system and the improvement measures proposed by the Government," a Government spokesman said.
The Government consulted the Legislative Council Members on the proposed improvement measures when the matter was discussed at the Panel on Constitutional Affairs and during a Legislative Council Motion Debate in December last year.
While the Members in general supported the introduction of measures to improve the accuracy of the residential addresses recorded in the register, some Members were concerned about the implications of some of the measures for the public.
"Having considered the views of the Members, the Government announced that it would implement a number of immediate measures from January 1, 2012, and would conduct public consultation on the other proposed measures," the spokesman said.
Members of the public are invited to submit views regarding the following issues as set out in the paper:
(a) Whether to introduce a requirement that address proof should be provided as standard supporting evidence at the same time when a person applies for registration as a geographical constituency elector or when a registered elector applies for change of his residential address;
(b) Whether to introduce penalty for registered electors who fail to report change of address or to introduce penalty for registered electors who fail to report change of address before the statutory deadline for reporting change of registered particulars and vote in an election afterwards;
(c) Whether the existing statutory deadlines for voter registration should be amended to allow sufficient time for the Registration and Electoral Office to complete the checking and the verification processes, and for the public to inspect and to lodge claims and objections, before the publication of the final register;
(d) Whether the voter register for public inspection should also set out electors in accordance with principal residential addresses so as to check the relevant electors' names in the same address, which will enable the public to identify irregularities in respect of residential addresses. Currently, the register format sets out the electors' names followed by their principal residential addresses only;
(e) Whether to require an elector to produce a poll card at the polling station before he or she can cast a vote. Currently, at the polling stations, voters are required to produce their identity cards but not their polling cards in order to cast their votes;
(f) Whether the existing offences under the relevant Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) Regulation on false declaration should be transferred to the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance (Cap. 554) (ECICO) as corrupt conduct or illegal conduct and be enforced by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. If yes, whether and to what extent the existing penalty level for such offences should be raised having regard to the maximum penalties for corrupt conduct or illegal conduct under the ECICO. If not, whether and to what extent the existing penalty level for such offences should be raised under the relevant EAC Regulation; and
(g) Whether there are any other views on the improvement of the voter registration system.
After considering all the views received, the Government will formulate further improvement measures.
The consultation paper is available at the Public Enquiry Service Centres of District Offices or the website of the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (www.cmab.gov.hk). Views on the consultation document can be sent to the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau by mail, facsimile or e-mail on or before March 2 this year. Details are as follows:
Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau
12/F, East Wing
Central Government Offices
2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar
Fax number: 2840 1976
e-mail address: email@example.com
Ends/Monday, January 16, 2012