Legislative Council elections 2016

‘6,000 ballot papers but 6,300 votes’: Youngspiration candidate demands halt to count

Baggio Leung calls for an investigation in Tseung Kwan O after 300 extra votes appear in the counting station

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 September, 2016, 4:32pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 11:17am

Vote counting in the Legislative Council elections was held up for almost three hours at a counting station in Tseung Kwan O after complaints that the number of votes checked had been amended.

A representative of New Territories East candidate Baggio Leung Chung-hang, of Youngspiration, reported the irregularity at Sheung Tak Community Hall counting station at around 4am on Monday.

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Electoral officers reportedly explained that there had been an error in the count earlier and that the original figures were crossed out and the correct number written out by hand. Their offer of a recount was rejected by Leung’s representative, who demanded the count be stopped pending a full investigation.

A row reportedly followed and the atmosphere turned tense. At one point, about 10 police officers were called in to be on guard.

Leung said later that while about 6,000 ballot papers were handed out at the polling station, it ended up with about 6,300 votes in total. “Three hundred more votes suddenly appear in the counting station. It is not funny. It is more than 100 per cent turnout,” Leung said.

Electoral officer Peter Kwok Chung-kai, also Sai Kung assistant district officer, subsequently started the vote count at around 7am after seeking legal advice from the secretary for justice.

“The instruction we got from the Registration and Electoral Office is that the electoral work has to be finished as soon as possible. So we will continue the vote count,” Kwok said.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said the Electoral Affairs Commission would explain the issue in detail when it submitted its report on the overall voting procedure.

The commission received more than 1,000 complaints about poll irregularities on Sunday.