Complaint leads to change of venue

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 May, 1998, 12:00am

About 500 voters have been relocated to a polling station next to their homes in Sha Tin following a complaint to the Electoral Affairs Commission.

Commission chairman Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing apologised yesterday for the last-minute change.

But he rejected suggestions of any wrongdoing on the commission's part, noting the property was a new development.

Residents at Parc Royale were angry to discover they had been allocated the Hin King Neighbourhood Community Centre, a kilometre from their flats, instead of the Choi Jin School station next to them.

They filed a complaint with the commission, only to be told on Wednesday night it was too late to move to the nearby station.

But Mr Justice Woo said they had changed their minds after consulting the postal office and Home Affairs Department yesterday.

Mr Justice Woo said the postal office would deliver new notifications to the affected voters today and the Home Affairs Bureau would put up posters to remind them of the change.

He said it was not possible to allow the affected voters to vote at either station, saying the commission lacked the technology to prevent the casting of two votes at separate stations.

'This might undermine the credibility of the polls,' he said.

Another 150 voters in Tsing Yi also had their voting station relocated following an appeal. Mr Justice Woo attributed this to mistakes on the map.

New Territories East candidate Lam Wing-yin of the Democratic Party filed another complaint on behalf of 2,300 voters in Tseung Kwan O.

Mr Lam said voters in Verbena Heights and Metro City had been assigned to the polling station at Tsui Lam Indoor Recreation Hall, 40 minutes away.

But there is another station at Lok Sin Tong Lau Tak Primary School, only 10 to 15 minutes' walk away.

By Thursday, the commission had received 317 complaints.