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Hong Kong declares itself ready for 2016 elections

08 April 2016

Members of SBEI No. 1 demonstrate voting process.
Hong Kong's voting precincts tested election equipment installed at Bayanihan Center in Kennedy Town today, and declared themselves ready to accept voters tomorrow -- the start of the one-month exercise for overseas Filipinos worldwide.

Baneng: ready for vigil
to be first voter.

At least one voter has also occupied the first slot in the queue of voters at the Bayanihan Center entrance downstairs, preparing to spend the night to hold on to her position. 

Baneng Mendez arrived at 2pm today, ready with food and drinks she would need for the vigil. Several colleagues from Migrante were on hand to take her place in case she had to go to the toilet.

She hopes to break the record of Rowena de la Cruz, who was able to be the first to vote in the previous three elections: 2007, 2010 and 2013.

The polling begins at 8am Saturday.

Comelec Commissioner Lim
Commission on Elections Commissioner Arthur Lim, said he will be voting in Hong Kong
on the first day of the month-long process.

The Comelec, he added, hopes fort a turnout of 80 per cent of the registered voters, not just in Hong Kong but in cities all over the world where the overseas voting will be held.

Hong Kong has 93,049 registered overseas Filipino voters in Hong Kong, or nearly 50% of the total Filipino population of 190,000.

However, the highest turnout registered in Hong Kong was 60 per cent in the 2010 presidential elections, where Benigno S. Aquino III was the winner in the presidential race.

During today's tests, members of the 10 Special Boards of Election Inspectors at Bayanihan Center demonstrated to the media the process of voting, scanning and tallying of the votes.

Representatives of political parties also went through each of the 10 polling precincts to test the machines and ensure they would be working on the 31 election days.

Lim said that ifthere are cases where some of the machines malfunction, the ballots will be fed into the machines of nearby precincts.

Shading the "ovals" of the ballot.
At the SBEI No. 1, which was opened to the media, chairman Manely Gomez and her members Onie Macleod and Joel Limsiaco began the routine by showing an empty ballot box. They then showed the process of starting up the vote counting machines.

They then gave ballots to some members of the media who then "voted", indicating their choices for president and vice president by shading the ovals opposite the respective candidates, and then inserting their ballots into the machines.

The SUN editor Daisy C.L. Mandap, one of the test voters, said the receipt churned out by the machine after she voted, was accurate in listing her choices.

(Note: Read a more exhaustive coverage of the presidential elections in Hong Kong in the April Mid-month issue of The SUN, which comes out on the 15th of April, 2016)

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