The hourly voter turnout of 37 out of 615 polling stations for the 2019 District Council Election have been amended on the day of the election on Nov. 24, an open database by FactWire shows. The accumulated voter turnout of five polling stations in the last hour has been modified during count from 12 to 89 votes. The difference was over 1 percent for three stations.
The publicly available electoral form that records the hourly voter turnout is called the P15 form. FactWire collected 601 complete P15 forms on the day of the district council election, covering 443 out of 452 district areas.
The change in number of hourly voter turnout and cumulative voter turnout varied from 1 to 125 votes for the 37 polling stations, with a record of adding or subtracting 100 votes for nine stations. The 100 votes were piled in one stack, which means the amendment could be related to a miscalculation with the ballot ends.
A signature next to the amended number on the P15 forms was recorded in only the forms of 15 stations.
The five polling stations with a modified accumulated voter turnout in the last hour were scattered in Eastern District, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Wong Tai Sin.
The P15 form was replaced by a new form with a modified number for the voter turnout at a polling station at Wong Tai Sin District. No changes were found in the original P15 form, which recorded a voter turnout of 195 for the last hour, until the period of 9:30 pm to 10:30 pm. A new form with a new voter turnout of 284 for the last hour then replaced the old form, indicating that 89 more people cast a ballot. However, no signature next to the amended number was recorded on the new form, which means that citizens would hardly know of the amendment unless there were photographic evidence of the older form.
The percentage difference between the total voter turnout on the P15 form and the actual number of votes after ballot vote counting is 1.99 percent in a polling station in Tuen Mun District, the highest among all stations, followed by a station in Ma Wan and one in Sha Tin. A difference of at least 0.5 percent was recorded in 81 polling stations, excluding the number of invalid ballots and ballots delivered from dedicated polling stations like correctional institutions, police stations and prison complexes.
The procedures of compilation of statistical returns for each constituency can be found at Part 6 of two operational manuals for the 2019 District Council Election, one for presiding officers, deputy presiding officers, assistant presiding officers and district liaison officers; the other for polling officers and electoral staff.
The officer should enter and cross-check both the serial numbers and the quantity of ballot papers received whenever a pad of new ballot papers is sent to the issuing desk. At the end of each period, which 15 minutes past every hour, another polling officer should enter the serial numbers for the number of ballot papers left at the end of the period, to be carried forward to the next hour. The officer should then pass the records of all issuing desks to another polling officer to compute the quantity of ballot papers left at the end of each period and the number of ballot papers issued to the voters during each hour, to cross-check with the hourly voter turnout.
The assistant presiding officer will then collate statistical records from each issuing desk and calculate the hourly voter turnout. Upon verification by the deputy presiding officer, the assistant presiding officer will fill in the hourly voter turnout on the P15 form.
The database compiled by FactWire can be downloaded here.