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Legislative Council of Hong Kong

For voting in Hong Kong elections, proof of address should be mandatory

    PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 January, 2019, 4:19pm
    UPDATED : Sunday, 06 January, 2019, 4:19pm

    The Registration and Electoral Office has recently been conducting sample checks on the registered addresses for geographical constituencies in the 2018 Final Register of Electors. Any recipient is required to confirm the person’s “only or principal residence” by returning an official reply slip. This appears to be a bureaucratic and essentially ineffective method of verifying the register, as it is only a sampling.

    It is good that government wants to tighten up the system, because there seems to have been persistent cases of voters transferring geographical constituencies during district council and Legislative Council elections.

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    In the present system, all registered electors are mailed a poll card indicating the elector’s address and the polling station. But the only government requirement is to “bring along your Hong Kong Identity Card to the polling station for ascertaining your identify”. Surely, a more secure method is to also require voters to supply their poll card, as is done in many overseas jurisdictions.

    The poll card could include the statement that “A voter who is not resident at the address shown commits an offence under the law”.

    Charlie Chan, Mid-Levels