Chong Wing Fai Winfield v Cheung Kwok Kwan
Court of First Instance
Constitutional and Administrative Law List No 10 of 2012
Lam JA
Constitutional Law
1, 6 March 2013

District Council election — casting vote without reporting change of address — not corrupt conduct or material irregularity

In the 2011 District Council election, the petitioner (“X”) lost by 24 votes to the respondent (“C”). X contended that C was not duly elected due to: (a) corrupt conduct which was generally prevalent at or in connection with the election; and (b) a material irregularity in relation to the election. X alleged that at the time of the election, 180 electors - of whom only 41 actually voted - were not residing at their registered addresses

Held, dismissing the petition, that, inter alia:

Whilst an elector had to provide his principal residential address at the time of registration, there was no statutory duty to report any change of his address to the Registration and Electoral Office. Thus, an elector who failed to do so, yet voted, was not guilty of corrupt conduct. At the highest, he had failed to observe a civic duty, but this was not an offence. On the contrary, until his name was removed from the register, discounting his vote would be an irregularity.



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