Registration deadline expires for District Council electors

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2007, 12:00am

People eligible to vote but who have yet to submit an application to have their names added to the electoral register have missed out on their chance to vote in November's District Council elections.

The deadline for registration passed at midnight.

However, eligible electors can still register to vote in future elections.

A spokeswoman for the Registration and Electoral Office said the final registers of electors would not be released until the verifying procedure had been completed.

Apart from the government, political groups such as the Democratic Party and think-tanks such as the Savantas Policy Institute have run registration drives in the past few months to round up potential voters.

Democratic lawmaker Yeung Sum said his party had received lukewarm responses, and believed the government had completed the job for the most part. 'Those registration workers get into each block and building in the city and have reached most people who haven't registered,' he said.

'We are just picking up those who have been left out.'

Ronald Chan Ngok-pang of Savantas said the public's responses were generally positive but agreed most were already on the voters' roll.

Dr Yeung said he expected a lower turnout in the forthcoming district council elections than in the one in late 2003.

'That election took place after the July 1 rally, in 2003, when the atmosphere in the community was completely different,' he said.

'The voters were using their votes to express their anger at that time, and it is unlikely to happen this time.'

He expects the pan-democratic camp to receive fewer votes than in the last district elections. 'When the turnout goes down, we are usually the one to suffer,' he said.

The final register last year had 3,185,927 electors. That was a decrease of 0.92 per cent from 2005, since some electors had died and others had failed to report new home addresses to the election offices.

There are 18 districts in the city. Most of the 529 councillors are directly elected - 400 in total. The chief executive appoints 102 members, and another 27 New Territories rural committee chairman are ex officio members.

Direct vote

Councillors are elected by simple plurality

Average number of people each councillor represents: 17,000