Sun, Nov 28, 2010 - Page 5 News List

2010 ELECTIONS: Election night violations few and far between

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

A man takes a closer look at the ballot before voting in yesterday’s three-in-one special municipality elections for mayors, city councilors and borough chiefs in Taipei.

PHOTO: CHIEN JUNG-FONG, TAIPEI TIMES

Sporadic, albeit minor, violations were reported in mostly peaceful elections for mayors, city councilors and borough chiefs in the nation’s five current and to-be-formed special municipalities yesterday.

The National Police Agency said a total of 33 violations were recorded, of which 24 cases involved torn up ballots — six in Taipei City, four in Taipei County, one in Taichung City, one in Taichung County, four in Tainan County, one in Kaohsiung City and seven in Kaohsiung County.

In Fongshan City (鳳山), Kaohsiung County, a Chinese spouse, who was voting for the first time, tore up her ballot because she thought voting for a certain candidate meant one had to tear off his or her photo to cast it in the ballot box. At another precinct in Fongshan, a voter discovered he had cast one of his ballots in the wrong box and decided to quit voting altogether by tearing off another ballot.

In Taipei County, which will be upgraded to Sinbei City next month, shredding was reported at polling stations in Tucheng (土城), Sindian (新店) and Tamsui (淡水).

The agency said three voters — one in Taipei County, one in Kaohsiung City and one in Kaohsiung County — reportedly took their ballots with them when they left the polling stations.

An 86-year-old voter was reported to have picked up his ballot for the borough chief election and took it home. Later, when he went back to vote, he reportedly went to the wrong polling station and was taken to a police station.

The Taipei City Election Committee also reported one incident in Zhongshan District (中山) where a voter found his ballots had already been picked up by another person.

Some borough chief and councilor candidates allegedly solicited votes outside polling stations or sent text messages via cellphones, which is illegal. The Kaohsiung City Election Committee said it would collect evidence and determine penalties in line with the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選罷法).

Meanwhile, Wu Wen-kai (吳文凱), a poll station worker in Taichung County, suffered a stroke and had to be hospitalized.

The shooting of former vice president Lien Chan’s (連戰) son, Sean Lien (連勝文), on Friday night also appeared to have compelled more people to vote.

A woman surnamed Lee (李) told the Taipei Times that she was approached by a middle-aged woman on the street at 7:15am yesterday asking her to help send a text message via cellphone regarding “a change of plan.”

“The text message read: ‘Sean Lien was shot, I need to go back to Taichung and vote. For the wedding, please give the money [to the newlyweds] on my behalf,’” Lee quoted the message as saying.

An engineer surnamed Chang (張), who lives in Yonghe City (永和), Taipei County, said the only reason he voted was because of the shooting, adding that the public should not live in fear.

Earlier in the day, police also reported one fight related to the elections.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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