Electoral campaign woos young first-time voters
ALMOST half a million first-time voters had registered when the three-month registration campaign ended yesterday.
About 40 per cent of people aged between 18 and 20 - able to vote for the first time - were among the total of 800,000 forms received by the Registration and Electoral Office.
A politics lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, Tang Tuck-hong, said: ''The result at least shows that Hong Kong people are not politically apathetic.'' But he said there were concerns that people already registered might lose their right to vote because they had not updated personal information such as change of address.
Principal executive officer at the Registration and Electoral Office, Mrs Carrie Willis, said the result showed a substantial increase, compared with 1991, when only 530,000 registration forms had been received.
The number of voters aged below 21 was close to the target of 50 per cent.
''It is unfortunate that the registration period has been overlapping the examination season,'' she said.
Governor Chris Patten said after touring the electoral office in Wan Chai yesterday that the figures were ''extremely encouraging''.
Elections for the District Boards are in September and the Legislative Council elections take place next year.