Fri, Dec 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taipei vote recount ends in Ko’s favor

ILLEGAL ACTS?KMT candidate Ting Shou-chung’s lawyer said that more than 10,000 ballots that people obtained using their fingerprint lacked the seals of two witnesses

By Wen Yu-te, Yang Hsin-hui and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Taipei District Court official Huang Ping-chin announces the results of the Taipei mayoral vote recount yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Taipei District Court yesterday announced the results of a recount in the Taipei mayoral election, with independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) maintaining his lead over Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中).

As the results favored Ko, Ting has forfeited a NT$4.23 million (US$137,115) deposit he paid for the recount.

Ting earlier this week filed to invalidate the Nov. 24 election, but a court date has not been set.

The court went over ballots from the 1,563 voting booths in the city with judges, court clerks, election affairs officials and lawyers representing the two candidates present, court official Huang Ping-chin (黃柄縉) said.

All five candidates had fewer total ballots than in the initial vote count, with Ting down 470 to 577,106 votes and Ko down 157 to 580,663 votes, Huang said.

While the recount was completed on Tuesday, the court spent an additional two days to verify all the information, Huang added.

Asked by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) whether Ting may apply for another recount, Huang said that Ting would have to abide by the results of the recount, in accordance with the Civil Servants Recall and Election Act (公職人員選舉罷免法).

Not included in the results were about 1,800 disputed votes, Huang said, without elaborating, but added that electoral staff would not be held responsible for the disputed votes, as there was no basis to consider that they had made an error.

Ting later said that his team had found five types of “illegal” acts during the election that would be cited as evidence in court.

The alleged illegal acts were voters obtaining their ballots with their fingerprint, but there being no seals of two witnesses on record; the prevalence of suspicious votes; a discrepancy between the number of voters and ballots counted; unsealed envelopes containing ballots; and voters obtaining their ballots by signing in English or their surnames, or using the seal of a voting station manager.

Ting’s lawyer, Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元), said that there were more than 10,000 ballots that individuals obtained using their fingerprint that lacked the seals from a voting station manager and overseer acting as witnesses.

Such incidents contravene basic legal procedure, as it is not ascertainable whether voters obtained the ballots themselves, Yeh said

These incidents could be evidence that would be provided in the lawsuit to invalidate the election, Ting said.

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