Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Officials stress need to improve voting system

Staff writer, with CNA

Government officials yesterday underlined the need for improvements in the next elections after Saturday’s vote drew fire for the long lines at the polls.

Speaking at the opening of the Information Technology Month exhibition at the Taipei World Trade Center, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said he had asked the National Development Council to initiate collaborations with information technology companies to serve that end.

However, Lai ruled out the possibility of electronic voting in the next election, saying: “Taiwan has not come this far.”

“We have engaged in building a smart government and we hope that relevant measures can be implemented next year to fix the problem of long waiting lines,” he said, without elaborating.

The government will fully support the development of artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, driverless vehicles and virtual reality, while preparing for the coming of the 5G era, he said

Taiwan held local government elections alongside 10 referendums on Saturday, which was viewed as the biggest ever vote in the nation.

It caused massive delays in voting and vote-counting at some polling stations.

Some voters had to wait two or three hours to cast their ballots. Vote-counting in Taipei’s mayoral race lasted until 2:37am the following day.

Meanwhile, in response to questions from People First Party Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔), Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that “action must be taken” to avoid similar problems in future elections.

Although the Central Election Commission chairman has stepped down to take responsibility for the failings in the voting system, Chen said bigger steps must be taken to avoid similar chaos in the 2020 presidential election.

All polling stations should start vote-counting at the same time to avoid having voters still waiting in line to cast their ballots while other polling stations have begun counting votes — a major problem during Saturday’s elections, she said.

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