Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC Chairperson Inspected a Mock Polling Station


The 2019 District Council Election will soon be held on 24 November. The Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin, visited a mock polling station today (22 November 2019) to inspect their accessibility for voters with disabilities.
“We are pleased that around 95% of the ordinary polling stations of this year’s District Council Election are accessible to wheelchair users. People with disabilities should enjoy the same right to participate in political and public life as people without disabilities,” said Mr CHU.
As in previous elections, the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) will put in place measures to facilitate electors with special needs to exercise their right to vote in the 2019 District Council Election. Compared with the 2015 election, facilitation measures are further enhanced by the REO, such as setting up temporary ramps for electors with mobility difficulties at polling stations where the circumstances permit. On the polling day, electors with visual impairment will be allowed to use the telephones at the polling stations to access the Interactive Voice Response System through a dedicated telephone line to listen to the recording made from the text version of the “Introduction to Candidates”. Since 2018, the REO has also launched facilitation measures for other electors with special needs, such as electors with intellectual disabilities, electors with speech or communication impairment and electors who are not familiar with Chinese or English.
After visiting the the mock polling station in Tuen Mun Town Hall, Mr CHU commented, “We have witnessed the efforts of the REO to engage ethnic minorities (EMs) at the election. It is a right move as equal access to elections is an essential part of a healthy democracy and it can enhance voter participation.”
The REO has launched various facilitation measures for EM electors, which include providing key information on election-related matters, in particular voting procedures, in seven EM languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tagalog, Thai and Urdu) at the polling station and on the dedicated election website; displaying the same information at eight EM support service centres; providing free telephone interpretation service in seven EM languages mentioned above through the REO telephone hotline in collaboration with CHEER; and announcing election-related information in five EM languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi, Nepali, Thai and Urdu) through radio to appeal to EM electors to vote.
Mr CHU calls on relevant parties to provide assistance to people with disabilities or special needs as far as practicable, “For people with disabilities and ethnic minorities to exercise their equal rights to political and social participation, polling stations must be accessible and equipped with facilitation measures for EMs to enable them to participate in the election, so that we can together build a truly equal and inclusive society.” 
Photo caption:
Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin, Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission, visited the mock polling station in Tuen Mun Town Hall.
Equal Opportunities Commission
22 November 2019