The Hsinchu District Court has dismissed a complaint filed against the Pacific Sogo Department Store in Hsinchu by the father of a child who participated in a drawing contest.
The court said there was insufficient evidence to support the complaint, filed by a man surnamed Tseng (曾), who accused the store of rigging the contest after his son finished fourth.
Tseng said he had asked friends and family members to vote for his son’s drawing by making purchases at the store and giving him the receipts.
He said he exchanged the receipts for 80 contest ballots, on which he wrote the number 60, which was his son’s entry.
However, Tseng said that when the ballots were counted, his son’s drawing only received 53 votes, 27 short of the number he put in.
Forms numbered from 278 to 290 were missing when the ballots were counted, Tseng added.
Tseng said the mouth of the ballot box was big enough to take ballots out, adding that there were no cameras watching over the ballot box and the department store had failed to secure the box away from the public when the entry period finished.
The complaint asked the store to pay NT$10,000, which was the amount given to the first-place winner.
The store said it would pay the amount if it was proved there was a problem with the ballot count, but added that the count was confirmed by a member of the Consumer Protection Committee’s Hsinchu branch.
The count was the same as the number announced, proving that there was no foul play, the store said, adding that Tseng had not been entirely truthful in his account of the issue.
The judge said that Tseng was unable to provide evidence for the number of forms he had placed in the ballot box, adding that an in-court count of the ballots showed not all of the ballots cast for No. 60 were sequential.
Even if someone had taken ballots from the box as Tseng claimed, they would have taken random votes and not those specifically cast for No. 60, the judge said.
Tseng’s claims were not substantiated with evidence, the judge added.
The competition was held at the store in July 2013, with participants drawing a picture on-site.
People could exchange receipts from the store for ballots to vote for a drawing.
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