Voters began to arrive early Sunday morning at the polling stations across Hong Kong to cast their ballots for the 2021 Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections, the first polls under the city's new electoral system.
The voting hours at five ordinary polling stations and one dedicated station run from 9 am to 6 pm.
Shortly after 9 am, the polling station at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai was already packed with the first batch of voters.
The other polling stations at venues including the Kowloon Park Sports Center, Sha Tin Town Hall, Tuen Mun Town Hall and Tsuen Wan Princess Alexandra Community Center also saw a steady arrival of voters who lined up outside the stations in an orderly manner.
Before entering the polling stations, many people took photos with the banners at the entrance to memorize this special occasion.
Meeting the media after inspecting the polling station in Wan Chai, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said that today's elections, the first under the revamped electoral system, are of great importance and will lay a good foundation for the upcoming elections for the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive.
Noting that the expanded Election Committee will reflect broader representation of different sectors in society, Lam said she is confident that the committee will represent the city's overall interest and help the city to better integrate into the nation's overall development.
Sunday's balloting is the first since the nation's top legislature adopted a decision in March on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The Election Committee, expanded from 1,200 members to 1,500, is tasked with nominating candidates for chief executive and the 90-member Legislative Council, and electing the chief executive and 40 lawmakers.
For the contested 364 seats, about 5,000 registered voters of the contested subsectors will cast their ballots today.
After the polls end at 6 pm, all ballot boxes will be delivered to the central counting station at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Wan Chai. The public can enter the counting venue and see the counting process on a first-come, first-served basis.