Polling stations to reward voters with souvenirs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 August, 2004, 12:00am

Voters seeking souvenirs to commemorate this year's Legco elections will not go away disappointed - the government will be distributing small gifts such as umbrellas and hand fans.

In the past, the administration handed out mobile phone straps, calendars or even laisee packets during the voter registration drive, and other publicity material such as commemorative cards especially designed for the 2000 elections were given to voters.

A spokeswoman for the Constitutional Affairs Bureau, which is co-ordinating the publicity campaign for this year's polls, said the $30 million promotions budget for next month's elections allowed for some gifts to draw people to the ballot boxes. But an official said there would be nothing for electors once they had cast their votes.

'I heard some colleagues tried to avoid chaos in polling stations to prevent voters from queueing to collect their gifts [in the previous elections]. We don't really know whether people came to vote or to receive gifts,' he said. This year's publicity drive promises to be a lively one, with leading pop singers and movie stars already appearing on posters and in broadcasts.

Roadshows, exhibitions, carnivals and election forums will be held before the September 12 polls.