The Central Election Commission's (CEC) plan to scrap the practice of marking voter identification cards during the Dec. 3 local government elections drew criticism from lawmakers yesterday.
In previous elections, voters' ID cards would be stamped at the polling station when they received their ballot.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (
Reason for change?
"If the original design is flawed, I'm very curious to know why the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] administration wants to change it now rather than four or five years ago," he said.
Wu said that he would also like to know why the CEC in September revamped the Implementation Regulations of the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法施行細則), and discarded an article that required a voter's ID card be marked after receiving a ballot.
"Isn't it obvious that it is another political scheme by the CEC to change the rules of the game before the election?" Wu said. "I'm calling on the CEC to take the initiative to change it back."
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus whip David Huang (黃適卓), however, backed the CEC's plan, saying that it was a way to effectively reduce vote-buying practices.
"It is a humiliating accusation against all polling personnel, most of whom are civil servants, when the opposition parties make such allegations," he said.
"Marking a voter's ID card is a legacy of the KMT regime to calculate polling outcomes. Getting rid of such a ridiculous scheme will not only ensure free voting but also reduce vote-buying," he said.
Throwing his support behind Huang, DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (
"You cannot just accuse any man with a penis of having the intention to rape a woman," he said.
Hsu, however, said the issue deserved a full-fledged discussion.
In response, CEC Chairman Chang Cheng-hsiung (
Chang said that the Ministry of the Interior had originally planned to issue new ID cards on July 1, prompting the CEC to overhaul the Implementation Regulations of the Public Officials Election and Recall Law because the plastic coating on the new cards would mean they couldn't be stamped.
The plan for the new cards was delayed until Dec. 21, however, so voters taking part in the Dec. 3 elections will not have their ID cards marked when they take their ballots.
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