Eligible citizens called to register their right to vote before year end

Friday, September 26, 2008
Issue 478, Page 6
Word count: 595
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Eligible permanent residents and social entities of Macau are urged to lodge their voter registration forms before December 31 this year if they wish to participate in the Chief Executive and Legislative Council elections in 2009.

In response to the revision of the Voter Registration Law which will come into effect on October 15, the Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau (SAFP) held a press conference yesterday to introduce arrangements to complement the new law.

Permanent residents

Starting from October 15, Macau permanent residents at the age of 17 will be able to register in advance to become a voter and their status will be automatically upgraded once they reach 18, said Jose Chu, director of the SAFP.

Applicants over the age of 18 will be required to register in person with identity cards in SAFP office in Rua do Campo, district service centres or mobile registration stations which will be set up in major areas starting November.

Applicants of 17 years must also need to complete the registration with the presence of their parents or guardians or a consent letter signed by them.

While mailed and faxed applications will no longer be accepted, Mr Chu said electronic services will be introduced so that new voter registrations as well as changes of personal details can also be processed online at http://www.re.gov.mo.

Elderly with physical difficulties and disabled citizens who wish to register to become a voter can make an appointment for home visits by SAFP staff to handle the procedures.

On the other hand, all voter identification passes will be expired starting October 15 and they will no longer be issued by the government thereafter.

According to the SAFP director, the annual Voter Registry which will be published every January will contain applications that are submitted as of December 31 of the previous year.

The Chief Executive and Legislative Council elections in 2009 will therefore base on the newest Voter Registry which is to be published in January 2009.

Any voter registration or details updates that are lodged beginning January 1 will only be reflected in the next Voter Registry published in the following year.

The same requirement will apply to social entities’ voter registration.

Thus Mr Chu urged yesterday eligible applicants who wished to exercise their right to vote in the two elections next year to file their registrations before December 31, 2008.

Social entities

The revised Voter Registration Law will see tougher requirements for social entities who wish to register to become a voter.

The new requirements are social entities or organisations needing to be registered in the Identification Bureau, to be categorised in a relevant functional constituency for at least four years and obtain a “legal personality” for a minimum seven years.

In which, an organisation can only apply to be categorised in a functional constituency after it had obtained its “legal personality” for three years.

In contrast, the existing requirements will only take a social entity three years until they could apply to become a voter.

Mr Chu said eligible social entities which file their voter registration before October 15 will still have their applications processed according to the present Voter Registration Law.

Meanwhile, the SAFP director said there will be about 8,000 people reaching 17 years of age after October 15 who could then file an early voter registration.

To date, Macau has some 300,000 citizens at or over the age of 18, of which about 221,700 have are already voting, Mr Chu added.

For more information, visit http://www.re.gov.mo or call SAFP on 28321321, available 24 hours on working days.


1 Comment »

  1. Hi, Thank you for providing such a nice info….

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