Tue, Mar 16, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Election results by 7:30pm: CEC

NUMBERS Amid opposition questions about counting transparency, the election commission said results of each voting center will be given to the two campaigns

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Staff members of the Central Election Commission test the computers yesterday at the national vote-tally center set up at the Taiwan Police College in Taipei.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday said the final result of the presidential election on Saturday will be available at about 7:30pm. The result of the referendums will be released at around 10pm, it said.

The commission also said that the results from each voting center will be made available to both political camps following concerns that the counting process was not transparent.

"For the sake of integrity, it is right that the voting results from each voting center be available to both political camps," said CEC Chairman Huang Shih-cheng (黃石城). "Both camps can assign authorized representatives who can pick up the results at each voting center."

The CEC tested the computerized ballot-calculation system for the fourth time yesterday at Taiwan Police College, which will be the headquarters for nationwide counting.

People First Party (PFP) legislators Feng Ting-kuo (馮定國), Yang Fu-mei (楊富美) and Cheng San-yuan (鄭三元), as well as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Chung-yu (王鍾渝), visited the Taiwan Police College yesterday and questioned the transparency of the counting process.

The referendum being simultaneously held with the presidential election has complicated the vote-counting process.

This election is also the first time that the CEC has outsourced the tabulation system.

Data Systems Consulting Co will conduct the counting after winning the bid last March.

Thirteen computer technicians will each be responsible for collating the result from two of the nation's cities and counties.

Commission Secretary-General Tsai Li-cher (蔡麗雪) explained how the votes would be counted.

"First, the ballots will be counted at each voting center, and the result will be delivered to a town voting center in person," Tsai said.

"The voting control center of each township will then fax a copy of the summary report on the results of all voting centers within its town to its city or county election commission as well as the Central Election Commission," Tsai said.

Each city or county election commission will then input the figures it receives into the central computer system, which will run further calculations.

The CEC said that in order to avoid congestion on the computer system, only city or county election commissions will be given access to it.

About 150 individuals have been given the password to access the system, it said.

The CEC will offer a Web site, in Chinese and English, on the day of election to provide the public with the latest results (www.president2004.nat.gov.tw).

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