Voters yesterday turned down a proposal to hold referendums alongside national elections, despite it receiving, by a small margin, the most “yes” votes of the four referendum questions.
The official result announced by the Central Election Commission (CEC) last night showed 49 percent in favor and 51 percent not in favor, or 3,951,882 million and 4,120,038 million votes respectively.
The question, proposed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), read: “Do you agree that referendums should be held alongside general elections if a referendum proposal is confirmed less than six months before a general election?”
Photo: Wu Shu-wei, Taipei Times
To pass, the number of “yes” votes needed to surpass the number of “no” votes, and total more than one-quarter of the electorate, or 4.96 million.
Neither threshold was reached, with only 19.93 percent of the total electorate voting in favor.
Opponents of the proposal pointed mainly to a chaotic process in 2018, when 10 referendums were voted on alongside the nine-in-one local elections.
They said the process puts a heavy burden on poll workers and caused confusion at polling locations, as votes were still being cast when counting began.
Opponents also cited voter fatigue caused by long lines and the number of items on the ballot, with some voters spending as long as half an hour in the voting booth to sort through the many, often confusing questions.
KMT supporters blamed administrative negligence for the messy polls rather than their timing, saying that the CEC had failed to address equipment and labor shortages.
They also questioned whether turnout for referendums would suffer if held separately, while rejecting the supposition that people would disregard the election to focus on referendums.
Until yesterday, all referendums were held on the same day as elections.
Another primary argument in favor of the proposal was financial, as the KMT said that holding referendums alongside elections would save taxpayers’ money, although opponents said that more items on the ballot would always require more money, as more poll workers and equipment would be needed.
The KMT also criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for changing its stance on the issue, as it had previously supported the proposal.
The DPP said it had been forced to advocate holding the two votes at the same time to overcome the extremely high thresholds put on referendums by the KMT.
The DDP said it had changed its stance as the barriers have been lowered, and after seeing the issues that arose in 2018.
Since the referendum did not pass, no similar questions are allowed to be proposed within the next two years.
Two lottery players recently won NT$1 million (US$31,822) prizes on scratch lotto tickets they purchased on the same day at the same store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area. Taiwan Lottery Co said that the lotto wins both happened on “20 million Super Red Envelope” (2,000萬超級紅包) scratch cards sold at a shop on Kunming Street on the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday on Thursday last week. The first of the winners was a married couple, who first won NT$2,000 on a NT$300 scratch lotto card, and then used their winnings to buy a NT$2,000 Super Red Envelope. After noticing that there
CAMBODIAN CON: The two men filmed videos with made-up content with a focus on purported human trafficking, beatings and sexual assaults by scammers Cambodian authorities yesterday sentenced two Taiwanese to two years in prison and a NT$30,000 fine each for staging a kidnapping in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville which they live streamed online. Chen Neng-chuan (陳能釧), 31, and Lu Tsu-hsien (魯祖顯), 34, were convicted of inciting and causing social disorder a day after Cambodian police officials convened a news conference about their arrest. Chen, who goes by the online name “Goodnight Chicken” (晚安小雞), and Lu, known by the handle “Anow” (阿鬧), must each pay 4 million riels (US$982), according to a court filing. The court said the duo arrived in the Cambodian capital, Phnom
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the