Sat, Nov 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

2018 ELECTIONS: Groups fund buses for young voters

DEFENDING DEMOCRACY:Many students said that they were excited to have their say, after the age for voting in referendums was lowered to 18 in January

By Rachel Lin  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy yesterday hold a sign at Taipei Railway Station urging young voters to go home to vote.

Photo: CNA

To encourage young people to vote in the nine-in-one elections today, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy (TYAD) and 50 college student associations have booked 60 shuttle buses to ferry voters home, with the buses setting off from Taipei yesterday afternoon.

The groups raised nearly NT$900,000 to fund their “democratic homecoming shuttle service” for young people, through which 2,500 people aged 18 to 35 could buy discounted bus tickets to return home.

The claim that young Taiwanese do not care about politics is not true, as many who have moved to big cities are so exhausted by work and the high cost of living that they do not have the time to return home to vote, TYAD member and project leader Chang Yu-meng (張育萌) said.

Despite this, many young people have bravely stood to defend the nation’s democracy by running in the local elections or promoting the 10 referendums that are being held alongside the elections, demonstrating their idealism and passion to challenge unjust things through political action, Chang said.

As the voting age for referendums has been lowered to 18 after amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) took effect in January, young people should vote on all issues that affect the nation’s future, TYAD said.

Many first-time voters expressed their excitement about being able to practice their civil rights.

A 20-year-old National Taiwan Normal University student surnamed Chen (陳) said he would elect his ideal mayor and councilors and express his opinions about each referendum by voting for the first time.

National Chengchi University sophomore student Huang Meng-han (黃孟涵), a psychology major, said she would leave Taipei for her hometown in Yunlin County’s Douliu City (斗六) to vote in the elections for the first time.

A National Chengchi University economics student surnamed Liao (廖) and a Soochow University accounting student Wei Yun-feng (魏云楓) said that they care more about the referendums related to marriage equality.

Everyone should have the right to get married, Wei said, adding that she is concerned about the Kaohsiung mayoral election, too.

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