HKUPOP rolls out the "3.23 Civil Referendum Project" Website: http://popvote.hkBack

February 8, 2012

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong held a press conference on February 8, 2012 (Wednesday) to announce its plan to launch the "Civil Referendum Project" which could be held on March 23, 2012 (Friday). During the press conference, Director of POP Robert Chung explained the aims of the project, fund raising goals and the related arrangements while IT Manager Jazz Ma explained the operation concepts and other technical arrangements


Background and Objectives


As an independent academic institution, POP has worked hard to develop a task-based electronic voting system to facilitate the general public and people from different sectors to express their will through civil referendum. POP plans to hold a "civil referendum" on March 23, 2012 to echo with the fourth Chief Executive election to be held on March 25. POP hopes to let the general public vote via the civil referendum in order to express their support towards different candidates. The "civil referendum" has three objectives, namely: 1) to integrate with the results of public opinion surveys to form a comprehensive reference for the public and the election committee, 2) to construct a civil society by promoting civil participation, and 3) to demonstrate the electronic voting system.

"Although the civil referendum does not have legal status, and will not be carried out as strictly as official voting, if the civil referendum can be conducted fairly and independently, and the number of votes count up to five digits, then it will have very high reference value," says Robert Chung.


Operation Plan


The proposed timelines of "3.23 Civil Referendum Project" are as follows:

February 8

Fund raising begins

February 23

Report on the fund raising progress and finalize the project scale

early March

Mock voting and system testing

March 21 (tbc)

"School Mock Voting" (details to be confirmed, depends on fund raising progress)

March 23

Civil Referendum, results to be announced on the same night

April 23

Financial report to be released


POP plans to use an onsite-offsite parallel mode of voting and welcomes any Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above on the voting day to vote via either one of the following methods: (see Annex 1 for details)

Offsite e-polling

Onsite polling

Voting time: 0000 to 2000 on 3.23

Voting time: 0900 to 2100 on 3.23

Website: PopVote (

Number of polling stations and venue: (tbc)

Information for verification: Identity Card Number in full of the voter and a cell phone number which can be used to send SMS

Information for verification: Identity Card


Note: see Annex 2 for initial layout of station

Smartphone App Voting
The voting time and process will be the same as the offsite e-polling but for those using Smartphone App voting, they must download the PopVote application first. Details will be confirmed.


Fund Raising Goals and Arrangement

The "3.23 Civil Referendum Project" is a self-financed project and POP will follow the guidelines laid down by the University of Hong Kong in accepting donations. Donors can choose to be named or remain "anonymous" but their names and contact information must be supplied to POP for follow up. Information collected will not be used for other purpose and will not be disclosed to any third party. POP will publish a financial report to account for the funding sources and usage of the money raised. The initial fund raising goals are as follows:

  • For HKD 500,000 raised, there will be an offsite voting system and 1 onsite polling station
  • For HKD 600,000 raised, there will be up to 3 onsite polling stations
  • For HKD 700,000 raised, there will be up to 5 onsite polling stations
  • For HKD 800,000 raised, there will be an extra "School Mock Voting" system constructed
  • If over HKD 800,000 is raised, the surplus will be used to develop online platforms and other civil referendum projects