Poll ban on mobile and camera phones

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 June, 2004, 12:00am

Voters will be required to switch off their mobile or camera phones when casting votes in the coming Legislative Council election, under proposals made by the Electoral Affairs Commission yesterday.

The penalty for failing to comply will be a $5,000 fine and three months' imprisonment.

The electoral watchdog also proposed that curtains partitioning polling booths be removed, so election officers can monitor voting.

Chief Electoral Officer Li Wing said the proposed rules were made in response to concerns over voting irregularities.

According to recent reports, some Hongkongers were being pressured by mainland relatives to take photographs of their ballots, to prove they voted for pro-Beijing candidates.

Meanwhile, police yesterday identified two more cases of likely voter registration irregularities relating to a women's centre in Tseung Kwan O, bringing the total of such cases to 19. The Electoral Affairs Commission has referred a total of 485 forms - including 445 from the centre, and the rest from individuals who suspected their registration had been faked - to the police.

The Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor said it had received five complaints about fake registrations through its hotline on voter intimidation. It was studying whether to refer the cases to the police or the Independent Commission Against Corruption.