The addresses of two voters in Sunday’s elections have been found to be changed by pro-Beijing organisations without their knowledge.
Roy Poon, a voter in the New Territories East constituency, checked his registration status last week because he did not receive any election mailouts. He found he had been switched to the Kowloon West constituency, under the address where he registered as a voter for the first time 29 years ago. A provincial association in Hong Kong made the switch.
Joe Ng, another voter, found that his address was changed from one in New Territories West to one in New Territories East by the Association for Family Reunions, after checking with the election office.
Poon said that when he called the Registration and Electoral Office, it told him that the Guang’an city provincial association in Hong Kong submitted an application form to change his address on April 12. Provincial associations are groups of people in Hong Kong who are from the same city, village or province.
“What provincial association? I had no idea, and I decided to follow up,” he said. He sent a letter to the election office and received a copy of the application form submitted in April.
Poon said that it contained his Chinese name, legal English name, identity card number and his former address. But it did not contain the Chinese Commercial Code – a system that recognises Chinese names provided on identity cards – or his phone number and email.
Poon told HKFP that the form was signed with his English name, Roy, by someone else. The name is not part of the legal name on his identity card, he said.
He was also registered to vote in the district council (second) functional constituency, although he had opted out of voting in the constituency.
“It was shocking – vote-rigging, changing voters’ addresses, fake ballots, we know it will happen. But this time, I experienced it first hand,” he said.
Poon added that he was not a supporter of the pro-Beijing camp and still plans to vote in Kowloon West on Sunday, which the election office told him was allowed.
“I do not believe a good result can be achieved using wrong methods,” he said. “Using such a hideous method to create fake ballots – those who are pushed into the legislature will not be lawmakers who help the public to monitor the government.”
Unable to vote
Meanwhile, Joe Ng, a voter in New Territories West, said the Association for Family Reunions applied by post to change his address to Sheung Shui in April. He found out after checking with the Registration and Electoral Office.
Sheung Shui is in the New Territories East constituency.
Ng said that the office was unable to reach him to verify the number on the form because it was a fake number. The office told him his voting status cannot be changed as it was confirmed several months ago.
The office also told him that he should not vote in the election.
Ng, suspecting that someone will use his identity to vote in the election, said he was asking the office to contact the police and arrest anyone who does so on Sunday.
The Association for Family Reunions reportedly told voters in past elections that if they voted for pro-Beijing camp candidates, their relatives in the mainland applying to live in Hong Kong may have their applications approved sooner.
Sze Kwan-lung, the director of the association, was a mainland abode-seeker in Hong Kong.
He was sentenced to eight years in jail for starting a blaze at the Immigration Tower in a protest in 2000 over his resident status, killing an immigration officer and another abode-seeker.
Sze was deported back to the mainland in 2005, but he obtained an one-way permit for Hong Kong residency in 2013 and became a director of the association afterwards.