Instead of sleeping on Sunday night after the LegCo election, 33-year-old AM730 columnist William Chan instead volunteered to watch people count ballots, which ended up lasting until 8am in the morning due to a recount. Chan was one of the organisers of a Facebook event called Monitor Your Own Polling Stations, which called on Hong Kong people to witness the vote count at their local polling stations. Despite the fact that the page was set up only a couple days before the election, 190 people confirmed their attendance. Mo Chan, another organiser, said the event was necessary because people have no confidence in the election process. “Since the beginning of the LegCo election, since the nomination process, we have seen a lot of things that were done in a very weird way. We think that – as residents – we should use our own eyes to watch this thing carefully.” He mentioned the disqualification of candidates, reports of people arriving at polling stations to find their ballots had already been cast by someone else, and reports of people telling senior citizens who to vote for by writing it on their hands as odd happenings that unfolded during the voting process.
“If we can’t do anything in legal terms we have to use [the government’s] own weird administrative measures to contend with them,” he said.
He actually registered as a vote counting agent a few weeks ago, Chan said. To be an official vote counting agent, volunteers had to have registered in advance as a voting agent representing a candidate in the constituency. But civilians can also watch the counting process from public seats in polling stations without registering.
Describing themselves as anti-establishment, William Chan and Mo Chan organised the event at the last minute under the Facebook group One Small Step For You, One Big Step for Hong Kong. The group is not a real organisation, they said.