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Electoral Affairs Commission monitoring weather situation amid possibility of adverse conditions affecting the poll

The Electoral Affairs Commission for the Legislative Assembly Election will decide, by 6pm on Saturday (11 September) how to proceed regarding the election polling scheduled for the following day, Sunday (12 September), in the event of adverse weather conditions.

The Electoral Affairs Commission has liaised closely with the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau, in assessing the potential impact of possible storms, said today the Commission Chairman, Mr Tong Hio Fong. He was speaking to reporters after attending a phone-in radio programme at Teledifusão de Macau (TDM). Deputy Commissioner of the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC), Ms Ao Ieong Seong, and member of the Electoral Affairs Commission, Mr Kou Peng Kuan, were also present.

If the potential for issuing on election day a Typhoon Signal No. 8 or above was evaluated to be high, then the polling procedures might be postponed to another date, or polling procedures at some stations might be transferred to other backup venues earmarked for the poll.

In addition, Mr Tong urged voters to pay attention to real-time updates on the number of people waiting at their assigned polling station. Such information would be available from 8am on election day, via the election website and on TDM channels. Such information would help voters avoid peak hours at their assigned polling station.

Asked by reporters whether it would constitute a crime if a person were to mention – via online format – the intention to cast a blank vote or to say that they had cast a blank vote, Mr Tong said the spirit of the law was for voting to be kept confidential. The Electoral Affairs Commission did not however condone any act that might affect, or might be intended to affect, the intention of other voters. The Electoral Affairs Commission would assess matters on a case by case basis, and investigate should anyone be suspected of intending to disrupt the proper order of the election, Mr Tong added.

Speaking to reporters, Ms Ao Ieong Seong said the Commission Against Corruption had launched so far an aggregate of more than 7,000 inspections regarding election-related matters. Some instances indicated ‘potential for violation’ of rules. She offered an example: some associations had intended to organise welfare events, but without declaring them to the Electoral Affairs Commission. Such planned events had been called off by the organisers, after CCAC intervention.

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