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Electoral Commission reports cases to CCAC and MP

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The Electoral Affairs Commission (CAEAL) President, Ip Son Sang, appealed yesterday for AL election candidates to hold off on guiding voters to support specific candidates or conducting “eager” campaigns.
A recent case reported that some candidates had made phone calls to voters and asked about their intentions for the coming Legislative Assembly election. Chairman Ip divulged that the commission had reported the case to the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) earlier  this month.
“We verified the case and saw that there was an inclination to influence residents’ voting intentions. The Commission deems it necessary to call a halt [to this activity],” according to the Chairman. However, he refused to name the group involved: “It is improper to release the name.” He reiterated that it is “improper” for group running in the election to attempt to guide the voters’ preferences towards specific candidates.
CAEAL received around ten complaints on election issues. Ip stated that one case has been sent to the Public Prossecutions Office (MP). He said that it is inconvenient for the commission to disclose the identity of the candidates involved since the cases are under investigation. But the CAEAL Chairman promised that the authority would inspect suspicious election-related behavior and report violations to the CCAC or to the MP.
Ip presided over the Commission’s press conference yesterday at its office in the Public Administration building in Rua do Campo. The conference briefed the media on the 31 voting venues for the AL election.
The commission announced 30 polling stations to be located in Peninsula, Taipa and Coloane for the direct election, and one voting place for indirect election, namely the Multisport Pavilion of Macao Polytechnic Institute (IPM). Twenty-seven out of the 30 polling stations are set on the Peninsula, with one in Taipa and another in Coloane. The remaining one polling station will be established in the Macao Prison. Ip explained that the distribution of the polling stations is designed to reflect the  population distribution around Macau.
According to the authority, residents will be informed of their designated voting place, by mail, before the end of August. After the deadline voters can check the information through CAEAL’s hotline, website and self-service kiosks or at the electoral affairs reception in person.
The commision also issued guidelines for setting up campaign facilities. The guide stipulates that each candidate group can establish one headquarters and up to six sub-offices for the election campaign; Advertising boards on the buildings cannot exceed the 2.5 square meters in size. Ip said the regulation aims to “avoid difference in the economic strength of each group.”
A “backup plan”, in case of flooding on the election day, is ready, said Ip. In case of emergency, the authority has prepared some backup polling stations for voters who are located in flood prone areas.
The voting for the AL election will be carried out on September 15, with voting stations open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CAEAL reminds voters that the Macau permanent ID is the only document offering eligibility to vote.

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