Regulations change in line with new voter registration cycle by 6IrEI1

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									Regulations change in line with new voter registration cycle


     The Government has proposed amending two regulations under the Electoral Affairs
Commission Ordinance (Cap. 541) to pave the way for effecting the newly revised cycle of voter
registration.


     A spokesman for the Registration and Electoral Office pointed out today (December 28) that
the amendment was necessary following the enactment of the Electoral Provisions (Miscellaneous
Amendments) Ordinance 2002 (the Ordinance).


     At present, the provisional and final registers of electors for the Geographical Constituencies
and the Functional Constituencies, and voters for subsectors of the Election Committee have to be
published not later than April 15 and May 25 respectively each year.


     The spokesman said: "The enactment of the Ordinance has reduced the time gap between the
publication of the final registers and the polling day for District Councils and Legislative Council
elections to about two months."


     "In a year when the District Councils election is held, the new publication deadline for the
provisional registers is August 15, whilst that for the final registers is September 25.      In other
years, the new deadlines fall on June 15 and July 25 respectively," he added.


     To tie in with the new voter registration timetable, the various dates in respect of the different
steps in the compilation of the electoral registers as set out in the relevant regulations have to be
amended accordingly.


     The two regulations being amended are the Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration of
Electors) (Legislative Council Geographical Constituencies) (District Council Constituencies)
Regulation; and the Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration) (Electors for Legislative Council
Functional Constituencies) (Voters for Election Committee Subsectors) (Members of Election
Committee) Regulation.


     Apart from the revised voter registration cycle, the amendments also seek to modify the
yardstick used in determining the language in which an entry is recorded in a register.


     "Under our new proposal, if the "principal residential address" in a registration application is
filled out in Chinese, then the entry of the elector/voter concerned in the electoral register will be
recorded in Chinese.   Likewise, if the address is in English, then the entry will be in English," the
spokesman said.


     "The new yardstick will avoid uncertainty in determining what language is used by an
applicant or authorized representative in signing an application form, which was adopted in existing
regulations as the determinant," he added.


     The amendment regulations giving effect to the above changes were published in the Gazette
today (December 28) and will be tabled in the LegCo on January 8, 2003.       These are the Electoral
Affairs Commission (Registration of Electors) (Legislative Council Geographical Constituencies)
(District Council Constituencies) (Amendments) Regulation 2002; and the Electoral Affairs
Commission (Registration) (Electors for Legislative Council Functional Constituencies) (Voters for
Election Committee Subsectors) (Members of Election Committee) (Amendment) Regulation 2002.


End/Saturday, December 28, 2002
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