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2022-09-13 HKT 17:07
The Registration and Electoral Office (REO) has been urged to step up training for polling staff and make better use of its electronic poll register system after a voter at the Chief Executive election in May was mistakenly given an extra ballot.
The call was made by the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) in its report on the 2022 Chief Executive Election.
In the report published on Tuesday, the commission said the election for the SAR's top job on May 8 saw a voter turnout of 97.74 percent, adding that the ballot counting process was smooth.
However, the EAC noted one incident where a worker at the polling station had issued two ballot papers to the same Election Committee member by mistake.
The voter then returned the extra ballot, which was later marked by authorities as "unused" and deemed invalid.
"No similar problem occurred at any other ballot paper issuing desk. It did not affect the number of ballot papers inside the ballot boxes, which tallied with the statistics recorded by the [Electronic Poll Register] System." the report wrote, noting also that the case has been referred to law enforcement for investigation.
As a recommendation, the commission said the REO should enhance training to ensure polling staff will "reaffirm the accuracy of the number of ballot papers issued before issuing them to electors".
It also urged authorities to use its electronic poll register system to check the actual number of ballot papers issued by staff members.
"The EAC also recommends that the REO should explore the possibility of using some sort of electronic device to monitor the actual number of ballot papers issued so as to prevent the over-issuance of ballot papers,” the report wrote.
In response, the government said it will work closely with the EAC to follow up on the recommendations.