A magistrate struck out more names from Hong Kong’s electoral register this morning, but refused to budge on voters whose addresses on the records did not seem to reflect residences recognised by law. The latter decision meant a family of registered voters who lived in a squatter home in Shek O could go ahead to cast their ballots during November’s district council elections. “The illegality of the person’s residence has nothing to do with his or her right to vote,” acting Chief Magistrate Andrew Ma Hon-cheung told Sha Tin Court in ruling against a complaint by Maxine Yao Jie-ning, who said she was considering contesting a council seat representing Stanley. Ma is one of three magistrates assigned to review cases brought to court by the electoral office and to decide if these voters should be taken out of the register. All three are looking into 728 cases today. Earlier today, Yao told the court she attempted a site visit to the family home of registered voter Cheung Chun-ho in Shek O Village last month. She could not find the place, she said, although she located the Cheungs’ mailbox. According to a map of the Lands Department, the address did not exist, Yao said, explaining her move to file a notice of objection to the Registration and Electoral Office requesting that the Cheungs’ names be removed. Cheung rebutted Yao’s claim, saying she had failed to scour the area thoroughly during her visit. He insisted he lived there with his parents. A representative from the Department of Justice said the electoral office had received applications from people who claimed they lived at the promenade in Tsim Sha Tsui East. She cited British legal authorities as saying the legality of voters’ addresses should not matter as long as they lived there. Ma said Hong Kong suffered a severe housing problem in the face of a land shortage. “I myself used to live in unlawful squatter homes near the mountains, too, when I was little,” the magistrate said. He rejected Yao’s objection and retained the Cheungs’ names on the register. He also decided against removing almost all the other names submitted by Yao, who had argued that those voters had registered with commercial addresses. During the same court session, Civic Party member Joshua Li Chun-hei succeeded in removing 19 dodgy names out of 91 he had objected to. Li said he wanted to exercise his civic rights to improve the election system and ensure fair polls. The hearing continues this afternoon.