Use smart ID cards to prevent long queues at polling stations

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 5:51pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 11:07pm

I found it exciting that a record number of people (more than two million) voted at Sunday’s Legislative Council election.

This shows that citizens are eager to see changes in Hong Kong society. I was also happy to see several new faces among the candidates who won seats. We will have high expectations of what they can achieve.

However, there was a downside to this high turnout that was disappointing and that was to do with the long queues, with the last person finally getting to vote at Taikoo Shing polling station at 2.30am. To prevent this kind of congestion from getting so bad in the future, a review should be conducted of how polling stations are organised.

Voters should be issued with smart identity cards. Each voter would be recorded by simply tapping their smart ID card, using an electronic device similar to the one for Octopus cards.

Having a reliable computer system like this will certainly reduce the amount of time it takes people in a queue to vote. It is accurate, efficient and because the checking system is computerised, almost 100 per cent error-free.

This would substantially cut the government’s expenditure on elections as it would not have to hire so many extra staff to man polling stations throughout the city.

On Sunday, there was a lot of confusion as people sought to find the right queue depending on the letter of the alphabet on their ID card. This would not be necessary with a computerised system.

It would just be like a bank where you can go to any counter and the waiting time would be shortened. Knowing that they would not have to join a long queue would hopefully persuade more citizens to vote.

I would like to congratulate all the newly-elected Legco members and hope they will make a great contributions to our society in the future.

Barry Kwok, Wong Tai Sin