Politicians who failed to fill in their ballot papers correctly at a functional constituency election had only themselves to blame if their votes were ruled invalid, a court heard yesterday. Gladys Li Chi-hei SC, who is seeking to have the result of the Legco election overturned, argued that electors in the Regional Council functional constituency breached regulations. She said: 'The voter has only himself to blame if he does not follow the requirements of the law and the vote is not counted. If the law is clear and he knows he has got to mark a 'one', who has he got to blame if his intention is disregarded, other than himself?' Three votes had been marked with a tick instead of complying with regulations which say the first preference must be shown by a number one, the court heard. Ms Li said each of the voters had been in a privileged position because they were one of only 50, rather than one of several thousand as in other constituencies. The judge compared the election to a 'rotten borough' of the kind which existed in England until they were abolished in 1832. Rotten boroughs were discredited because their electorate was so small it could easily be influenced or controlled. But it is a different concern which has led the candidates of the Legco election to court. Ms Li, for defeated independent candidate Ann Chiang Lai-wan, argues that the result should be overturned because votes which breached the electoral regulations were wrongly allowed to count. She said it was 'absurd' to complain that regulations which imposed strict rules on six of the functional constituencies amounted to discrimination. Alan Hoo SC, for winning candidate Dr Tang Siu-tong, has argued that the regulations wrongly removed the power of the returning officer to consider ballot papers in order to determine what the voter had intended. But Ms Li said: 'We do not have a system of voting by the discretion of the returning officer in small constituencies. We submit that is an equal evil to frustrating the intention of the voter.' The Court of First Instance's Mr Justice Nicholas Barnett said he would give his judgment at a later date. He has the power to remove Dr Tang and install Ms Chiang as the winning candidate if he believes the disputed votes were unlawful.