|Consultation Report on Improvement Measures of the Voter Registration System published
The Administration today (April 16) published the Consultation Report on Improvement Measures of the Voter Registration System, summarising the written submissions received and setting out the Administration's final position on the proposed further improvement measures, a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) said.
In light of public concerns regarding suspected false registered addresses of electors following the 2011 District Council Election, the Registration and Electoral Office has, since January 2012, implemented a number of measures to improve the voter registration system. These measures include stepping up existing checks and conducting random checks on new and existing applications; sending letters to remind electors to update their residential addresses and strengthening publicity measures on the importance for new registration to provide accurate information and for registered electors to update their residential addresses; conducting additional checks on lists of buildings already demolished or to be demolished; and conducting additional cross-matching exercises with other departments. Additionally, the CMAB conducted a public consultation on a number of improvement measures for the voter registration system from January 16 to March 2, 2012.
"In light of the views received, the Administration has decided not to pursue the proposed requirement for address proofs in voter registration applications and applications for updating addresses; the proposed penalty concerning update of address; and the proposed requirement for producing poll cards to vote in elections.
"Although these new measures are not pursued, the Administration has significantly stepped up efforts to enhance the accuracy of the registers by increasing the extent of checks. The enhanced checking includes using a more targeted approach, as well as more vigorous random checks on new applications," the spokesman said.
In order to help electors identify any irregularities in the registers, the Administration proposes to amend the format of voter registers to set out electors in accordance with their principal residential addresses in addition to the existing format which sets out electors according to their names. The Administration will introduce a Committee Stage Amendment in the Electoral Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2012 to implement the proposal
As regards the proposals to advance the statutory deadlines relating to voter registration and to transfer the existing offences on false declaration from the relevant Electoral Affairs Commission regulation to the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance (Cap. 554), the Administration will study the proposals further before reaching a conclusion.
The consultation ended on March 2, 2012. During the consultation period, the Administration received written submissions from political parties, political groups, organisations and individuals on the proposed improvement measures. The interim report of the consultation was discussed at the Legislative Council Panel on Constitutional Affairs on March 19, 2012.
The Report is available on the CMAB website (www.cmab.gov.hk).
Ends/Monday, April 16, 2012