Officials have been asked to explain why Hong Kong had failed to learn from Taiwan's efficiency in counting votes. Liberal Party vice-chairman Ronald Arculli said yesterday he did not understand why it took so much longer to count votes in Hong Kong. Results of Taiwan's presidential elections on March 18 were announced four hours after polling ended at 4pm. It took 18 hours for results of the 1998 Legislative Council polls to be announced. Another Liberal legislator, Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, said: 'Election results must be known when people wake up in the morning.' Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Robin Ip Man-fai said counting in Taiwan was conducted at polling stations, but that each one had only a few thousand ballots. Chief Electoral Officer Li Wing promised that counting would be speeded up in the September election. Ballots collected at polling stations would be sent to five counting stations in five geographical constituencies. Counting had been done at one election centre in previous polls. Mr Li said the new arrangement would save time transporting ballot boxes. 'The use of the chop with a tick could cut down the number of questionable ballot papers and shorten vote-counting time. Sometimes it took four or five hours to settle the problem,' he told a Legco subcommittee meeting. Meanwhile, the Government proposed that people be allowed to bring children into the polling station during voting, so long as they do not cause any inconvenience. Mr Arculli said that such a regulation could bring about disputes, though he doubted children would cause much trouble during the brief voting process.