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Monday, September 5, 2016, 03:02

Long queues and frantic vote wooing as polls open

By Willa Wu and Li Yinze
Long queues and frantic vote wooing as polls open
Voters snake their way round a polling station at Hing On Mansion in Taikoo Shing to cast their ballots in the 2016 Legislative Council elections on Sunday. A large number of registered voters were still stuck in queues in the last hour of polling. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

The 2016 Legislative Council (LegCo) elections kicked off with various candidates mired in frantic vote wooing as soon as polls opened at 7:30 am on Sunday.

The intensity heated up as voting reached the half-way point in the 15 hours of balloting. Voting was brisk with several polling stations reporting voters having to wait in long queues.

A large number of registered voters were still stuck in queues in the last hour of polling. When polling closed at 10:30 pm, the Electoral Affairs Commission instructed staff to display signs indicating the end of the queue to ensure order, and later-comers were not allowed to enter polling stations.

Setting a record-high turnout rate, voters had high expectations of choosing their 70 representatives in the legislature who will help chart the city’s course for the next four years.

A young voter surnamed Lee said it was her first chance to vote in an election.

Calling voting a right as well as a duty, Lee said she took the opportunity seriously, especially at a time when Hong Kong is deeply divided with political and social conflicts.

A 30-year-old woman surnamed Kong said she had been voting in local elections since she was 18. Casting her ballot at a polling station in Mei Foo, Kowloon West, Kong said she wanted to see new lawmakers who are more pragmatic and moderate rather than engaging themselves in endless filibustering and causing political deadlocks.

A 27-year-old cook, who also cast his vote at Mei Foo, described the outgoing LegCo as chaotic due to excessive filibustering by opposition legislators.

“I prefer people who can get things done, and I hope the new Legislative Council can enhance its efficiency to implement policies that benefit the people,” he said.

Long queues and frantic vote wooing as polls open

Contact the writers at willa@chinadailyhk.com

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