Tue, Mar 20, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Plan for 2014 local election could use three or five ballots

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Central Election Commission is eyeing a combined local election in 2014 in which voters could be given up to five ballots, Central Election Commission Chairwoman Chang Po-ya (張博雅) said yesterday.

During a legislative committee hearing, Chang said voters in the five special municipalities would be given three ballots, while those in counties and county-level cities would cast five votes.

Chang said to avoid confusion for voters, the commission was considering a two-step voting procedure — voters would be given three ballots to cast before receiving the other two.

Asked by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Chi-chen (江啟臣) about the introduction of absentee voting, Chang said she supports the idea, but added that the Ministry of the Interior was responsible for the required legal amendments.

After Chiang pressed Chang about a vote-by-mail system, the chairwoman said the option was currently not being discussed, but that it had not been ruled out.

The ministry had planned to introduce absentee voting for January’s presidential election by allowing people to vote at polling stations other than the one in which they are registered.

However, that plan was halted after the presidential and legislative elections were combined.

Responding to Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and Lee Chun-yi’s (李俊俋) call for the introduction of video surveillance at polling stations, Chang said that recording equipment is banned to avoid possible voter intimidation.

However, Chang said that given a sufficient budget there would be no problem recording the ballot-counting process at the more than 14,000 polling stations nationwide.

The elections for the special municipalities and counties will be held on the same day in 2014, but the exact date has not yet been decided.

Voters will vote for local government heads, city and county councilors, township chiefs, township council members and ward chiefs.

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