Near 60,000 voters cast ballots in pro-democracy primary election

Local | 11 Jul 2020 2:20 pm

Organizers of the pro-democracy camp's primary election said around 60,000 voters have cast their ballots three hours after the two-day poll begun. 
Power for Democracy, which helped to organize the event, announced in a social media post that as of 5.15pm today, a total of 59,747 people voted across 250 polling stalls. 
Earlier this morning, event organizer Benny Tai Yiu-ting said the anti-establishment camp aimed to receive 85,000 ballots in today's primary election, which accounted for half of their 170,000 target votes. 
The voting hours of the event was pushed back three hours this morning. 
The camp said the postponement was due to a disruption in some final preparation works by a police raid on a polling institute involved in the primary last night. 
Officers enter the office of Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) in Wong Chuk Hang to investigate an alleged data leak of police officers' information, citing a risk of the center's computers may have been hacked. 
Given the three-hour delay and the sudden spike of Covid-19 infections, organizers decided to press on the event with voters lining up in various polling stations this afternoon. 
More than a hundred gathered outside Tai Po Plaza to wait for the entrance of a polling station nearby, while several dozens queued outside another stall at On Luk Street Park in Ma On Shan. 
Queues also sprouted outside voting stations in several districts, including Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, North Point and Tseung Kwan O. 
Some voters were also seen reading information about candidates outside a polling station at Shui Chuen O Estate in Sha Tin, where 12 residents have been infected with Covid-19 amid the sudden outbreak this week. 
Hong Kong's opposition parties decided to hold a primary system to field down candidates with the best chance of winning in the Legco election on September 6, in the wake of a landslide victory in the district council elections last November.
It was the first time a primary has been held for all five geographical constituencies before the Legco election. 
The camp believes they would open their path to “35-plus” - the first-ever majority in the 70 seat legislature – as the primary aims to avoid vote-splitting scenarios with too many pro-democracy candidates.
The primary will be held from Saturday to Sunday, with 250 poll stations across the city's five geographical constituencies from 12pm to 9pm today and 9am to 9pm tomorrow. Any registered voter is eligible to cast a ballot after showing proof of address and an identity card.
Fifty-two candidates have signed up for the primary, and the results are expected on Monday.
Campaign organizer Benny Tai Yiu-ting urged voters to cast their ballot, and said organizers would delete all personal data collected in the poll after announcing the results.

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