Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday quashed a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus proposal to hold an extraordinary legislative session to deliberate amending the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to allow absentee voting.
The KMT caucus had teamed up with caucuses of the New Power Party and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) in support of absentee voting.
Their proposal calling for an extraordinary session was defeated, as 59 lawmakers voted against it, with 39 for and three abstaining.
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said most people have no major objections to absentee voting.
“However, Taiwan is in a unique position in the international community as we have a neighbor who is always threatening military aggression... Therefore, we have to assess absentee voting very carefully, especially absentee voting from abroad,” he said.
DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said he had serious reservations, “because China would certainly meddle in the process, to subvert voting results.”
Cheng said that the KMT’s main objective is to permit absentee voting using mail-in ballots and electronic voting, “but we have to consider China’s involvement.”
China would force those Taiwanese who it could control, to take photographs of their mail-in ballots, to show who they were voting for, Cheng said.
If Taiwan permits absentee voting, “I can guarantee all types of election fraud would take place,” including falsified registration of “ghost voters” and vote-buying, Cheng said.
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