Dozens of college students yesterday rallied outside National Taiwan University (NTU), calling on the government to provide assistance with transportation so they can return home to vote on Jan. 14, as election day falls in the final week of exams for many students.
Holding signs showing their school names and their home towns, such as: “I study at NTU, I have to go back to Kaohsiung to vote,” “I study at National Chung Cheng University, I have to go back to Hualien to vote” and “I study at NSYSU [National Sun Yat-sen University], I have to go back to Nantou to vote,” students attending universities that are far away from their hometowns protested outside the main NTU campus in Taipei.
National Chung Cheng University is in Chiayi County, while National Sun Yat-sen University is in Greater Kaohisung.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
According to the Election and Recall Act of Public Servants (公職人員選舉罷免法), voters can only cast their ballots at designated polling centers near their registered home addresses, making it difficult for people studying or working away from home to vote.
“Setting Jan. 14 as polling day [for the presidential and legislative elections] is a decision that overlooks the rights of students studying away from their home towns to begin with because it’s the final exam period for most students. Some even have to turn in their semester papers around that date,” said Chen Ting-hao (陳廷豪), a student at National Taipei University of Education’s department of educational management.
Few students would be willing to take their assignments or books home just to vote, he said.
Chiang Yu-hsin (江昱欣), a master’s student at NTU’s Graduate Institute of National Development, said he had to take a final exam on the day before the elections.
“Then, I’ll have to take a late-night train or highway bus back to Kaohsiung so that I can vote the next day,” he said.
“I’m lucky enough to have my final on Jan. 13, some of my friends have their finals on Jan. 14 and they just have to give up their right to vote,” Chiang said.
The students urged the government to provide transportation for students who want to go home to exercise their right to vote and for the Ministry of Education to check if there are any schools that require their students to take their finals or to turn in their papers on polling day.
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight
INTERNATIONAL WEED DAY: Advocates are to hold a demonstration to push for the decriminalization of marijuana and allowing its use for treatment of certain conditions It is time for Taiwanese society to examine the medical benefits of cannabis, in line with the international trend to lift restrictions on and decriminalize the use of marijuana, two legislators said yesterday, ahead of tomorrow’s “Rally for Equal Rights for Cannabis” in Taipei. Taiwan is one of a few countries holding a “420 International Weed Day” event — which usually takes place around the April 20 weekend — as most nations have canceled it this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said organizer Green Sensation, which is composed of doctors, lawyers and entertainers, among others. The group released a
‘NOT ENTHUSIASTIC’: People who have been approved by the CECC as special cases who need to travel, such as foreign diplomats, would be able to receive a vaccine The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to the fourth priority group — people who need to travel abroad for special reasons — adding that out-of-pocket vaccines would be available from Wednesday next week. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said although Taiwan’s COVID-19 vaccination program was on Monday expanded to include the top three groups in the priority list, people are still “not enthusiastic” about getting vaccinated. “Only 1,220 people received a vaccine shot on Tuesday, and a total of 27,113 people have received COVID-19 vaccination” so far, he