|LCQ7: Voter registration
Following is a question by the Hon Lau Chin-shek and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (May 14):
In its paper presented to this Council's Panel on Constitutional Affairs in March this year on the voter registration campaign for the 2008 Legislative Council (LegCo) election, the Government stated that according to the last final register published in September last year, there were 3.3 million registered electors for geographical constituencies, representing 71 per cent of the estimated total number of eligible electors. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the respective percentages of people of various age groups who have registered as the above electors as at September last year, broken down by the age groups of registered electors for LegCo constituencies posted on the Government websites;
(b) whether the authorities have assessed which age groups and social strata the more than one million eligible electors, who have not yet registered as at September last year, mainly belong to, as well as the characteristics of their social status; and
(c) apart from the strategies and activities mentioned in the above paper, whether the authorities have concrete strategies to boost the registration rate of eligible electors significantly?
(a) The distribution of registered electors in the 2007 Final Register of Electors and the respective registration rates by age groups are at the Annex.
(b) Based on information about Hong Kong's overall population and the number of Hong Kong permanent residents provided by the Census and Statistics Department and the Immigration Department respectively, the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) estimated that for 2007, there were about 4.6 million persons in Hong Kong eligible for registration as electors for the geographical constituencies (i.e. permanent residents of Hong Kong aged over 18). As there are about 3.3 million registered electors, the estimated number of eligible electors who have not yet registered is about 1.3 million. Their distribution by age groups is at the Annex. We do not have detailed figures in respect of the social strata or the characteristics of their social status of these 1.3 million persons.
(c) As set out in the paper provided by the Administration to the LegCo Panel of Constitutional Affairs, the Voter Registration Drive runs from early April to May 16, 2008. During the period, the Administration is undertaking a series of publicity events and activities to encourage potential electors for registration, and to remind registered electors who have changed their registration particulars to update their records with the REO. These events and activities include broadcasting announcements of public interest (APIs) on television and radio; displaying banners, buntings and posters; placing advertisements in newspapers, MTR stations, bus, tram and taxi bodies; setting up voter registration counters in locations with high pedestrian flow; and conducting visits to residential developments newly completed in recent years.
In addition, the REO has put in place the following activities to encourage young people to register as voters:
* setting up registration counters in Registration of Persons Offices of the Immigration Department to invite youngsters reaching 18 who apply for adult Identity Cards to register;
* distributing and collecting registration forms to/from secondary schools and higher education institutions;
* continuing to run the School Visit Programme in the 2007/2008 school year, so as to promote voter registration to secondary school students of senior forms ; and
* setting up roving registration counters in higher education institutions, to facilitate eligible students to register.
In addition to the items mentioned in the Panel paper, the Administration has also produced souvenirs and arranged segments in popular radio programmes (including those targeting young audiences), so as to encourage through a multi-pronged approach more eligible persons to register as voters.
Ends/Wednesday, May 14, 2008