It does not take much time to register to vote for the District Council elections, or geographical elections for the Legislative Council. Any Hong Kong permanent resident aged 18 or over who ordinarily resides in Hong Kong is eligible to sign up as a voter.

The traditional method is to fill in a form and post or fax it to the Registration and Electoral Office.

Ballots. File Photo: GovHK.

Keyboard Frontline, a group advocating internet freedoms, has also created an online platform to help unregistered voters to fill out the form. The form can be signed online, after which it will be submitted to the Office.

The group claims that the platform, which is in Chinese only, can be used to complete a voter registration form within three minutes.

If you have a valid digital certificate, you can visit the relevant website to complete online.

If you reach 18 on or before 25 September for a District Council election year – such as 2019 – or 25 July for a non-District Council election year, and you are a permanent resident who ordinarily resides in Hong Kong, you can also register before turning 18 that year.

Carrie Lam casts her votes in the 2016 Legislative Council General Election. Photo: GovHK.

Although the deadline for voter registration to get a vote in the Legislative Council by-elections in March has passed, you can submit voter registration forms at any time. There are still two other vacant LegCo seats to fill – the by-election date will not be decided until all legal proceedings are completed.

There were a total of 3,805,069 voters in the 2017 final register for the geographical constituencies, compared with 3,779,085 in 2016.

If you have registered as a voter, you should also regularly check whether your details are correct on the system. There have been cases of voters’ addresses being changed by pro-Beijing organisations without the voters’ knowledge, stripping them of their votes in their areas.

A Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions district councillor also discovered that her address was changed on the voting register without her knowledge.

Registered electors can log in to the Online Voter Information Enquiry System, or call the enquiry hotline on 2891 1001, to check their own registration status and particulars.

You should also regularly check if there were enquiry letters from the Registration and Electoral Office for address check. If you fail to answer the letters, your voting rights may be cancelled.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.