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CE: Step up promotion effort to encourage voters to take part in Sunday polling

The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, tours the polling station set up at the Olympic Sports Centre in Taipa, to gain a better grasp on the preparations for the elections.

The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, today called on the Electoral Affairs Commission for the Legislative Assembly Election to step up its promotion effort to encourage voters to cast their ballot on Sunday (12 September).

Mr Ho made the remarks during a visit to polling sites at the Olympic Sports Centre in Taipa and the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion on Macao peninsula. Mock polling facilities have been set up at Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion for voters to familiarise themselves with proper polling procedures. Mr Ho’s visit offered him a better understanding of the mock-polling arrangements, ahead of the actual voting at Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion on Sunday.

In addition, Mr Ho received a briefing from the Commission Chairman, Mr Tong Hio Fong, on the preparations for, and facilities made available at, alternative mobile polling stations. They would be used to allow people to cast a vote in an affected area in case of a COVID-19 outbreak that required the cordoning of a location as a Red Health Code zone, as part of epidemic-control measures.

The Chief Executive advised the Electoral Affairs Commission to liaise closely with the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau regarding the possibility of adverse weather conditions on election day.

During the visit to the two polling stations, Mr Tong gave a briefing to Mr Ho on the general layout of polling stations, and facilities and anti-epidemic measures at polling venues. Mr Tong said this year’s election would see an increase in the overall number of polling booths available, as well as the introduction of social distancing measures – and therefore a larger waiting area for voters attending to cast their ballot. Aims were to shorten voters’ waiting time, reduce the opportunity for crowds to form, and to encourage voting overall, whilst also ensuring anti-epidemic efforts were in place, he added.

There would be enhanced promotion of real-time updates available to the public regarding the number of people waiting at each polling station. This was so voters could avoid peak hours at their assigned polling station, said Mr Tong.

The Commission Chairman also talked about the Commission’s work since its establishment in January, including close collaboration with other public departments regarding advancing electoral affairs, and ensuring the election would be held in a lawful, fair and clean manner.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Electoral Affairs Commission had been working closely with the health authorities in the formulation of disease-control measures, in a bid to safeguard the health and safety of voters, Mr Tong added.

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