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Electors' particulars protected: REO

The Registration & Electoral Office (REO) has all along implemented stringent measures on inspection of registers to protect electors' particulars in the registers.   The REO made the statement today in response to media enquiries concerning the arrangements for inspection of provisional register of electors, noting that audio recording, photo and video-taking and copying information are prohibited during the inspection.   It explained that any individual who reproduces or permits any other person to reproduce in any form, uses or permits another person to use, or imparts to any other person any information contained in the registers for a purpose other than a purpose related to an election, commits an offence. Such measures are in compliance with the law and in line with the long-established practice.   The REO also noted a judicial review from the Junior Police Officer’s Association (JPOA) on inspection of final registers of electors.   It pointed out that the JPOA applied to the Court of First Instance (CFI) of the High Court for leave for judicial review in 2019, prohibiting the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) to release the extract of the final registers of electors which shows the electors’ names and respective principle residential address of members of the public and candidates.   The JPOA also sought an urgent interim injunction to restrain the ERO from making the final register of electors which shows the linked information available for public inspection and providing relevant particulars to any other individuals. Upon resolution of the case in the CFI, an appeal was made to the Court of Appeal (CA) for review.   In consideration of the relevant circumstances, the CA handed down its judgment in May 2020. It stated that the registered particulars with the linked information of individual electors and the omissions list are available for inspection by validly nominated candidates, members of the press and political parties.   The parts of the registers which contain only corporate electors’ registered particulars and do not show the linked information of individual electors, are available for public inspection. Provision of extract of the registers is only available to specified people including political parties and validly nominated candidates.   The REO added that in the documents and affirmations submitted to the court in the judicial review case, the concerned party also pointed out that the REO has been adopting stringent measures on inspection of registers.        The provisional register and omissions list for voters of Election Committee subsectors are available for inspection by specified individuals from July 18 to 22.
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