Poll staff told to be flexible, keep the count going

An election official says vote-count supervisors have been told not to be too strict about rules and procedures so they can get the results of Sunday’s Legco polls out quicker.

Barnabas Fung, the chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission, said on Tuesday that thanks to streamlined vote counting rules, and a boost in manpower, the first results could come “pretty soon”.

He said quickest of all will be the new Election Committee constituency seats, which will involve the 1,500-strong committee choosing 40 of the legislature’s 90 members.

The commission was criticised for a serious delay in the announcement of the results of the election for the Election Committee in September.

Fung said administrative procedures have now been made simpler, with fewer documents to be filled out by polling staff who have also been told to be flexible.

“We have instructed the supervisors to look at the entire situation. Even if some rules were not met in strict compliance, if the situation warrants, we would continue to count the votes and deal with the discrepancy later,” he said.

“Hopefully, it will shorten the counting time and the declaration of the election results.”