Taiwanese vote online for new national ID card design

While votes are still being cast for Taiwan's new national ID card design, the surprise winner so far is a plain, white design

Current first place design. (Photo from identityredesign.tw)

Current first place design. (Photo from identityredesign.tw)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) on Saturday (April 21) launched an online contest to select a new design for Taiwan's national ID card, and the clear winner so far is a relatively plain, white look.

In February, the MOI announced that it would hold a "Identity Document Redesign" vote and because there were no requirements such as including the country's flag and name of country, a wide spectrum of creative designs have been submitted. Since online voting started on April 21, the hands down winner is a no frills, white design titled "Local Residents of the Island" which uses the name "Taiwan" instead of "ROC" and no flag is visible.

The current national ID card design has been in use for 13 years. After the MOI announced in February that it was starting a design competition, it received 1,000 submissions.

At the time of publication, the five designs with the most votes so far are "Local Residents of the Island" (嶼民在地) with 55,059 votes, "Spell Out Taiwan" (拼出台灣) with 23,991 votes, "Formosan Sika Deer, Leopard Cat, Peony" (梅花鹿。石虎。牡丹花) with 21,203 votes, "National identity Card of the Republic of China" (中華民國國民身分證) with 18,067 votes, and "Colorful national Flower" with 6,901 votes.

Many Taiwanese netizens reacted angrily toward the contest and the first place design:

"Taiwan is just a place name, not the name of a country."

"Why do you have to waste money all the time?"

"An unfair ID card, and no matter what the design is, it's a waste of time."

"Courageous point, amend the constitution to change the name of the country."

Others were less offended by the new designs:

"The country on the other side of the Strait (China) doesn't have a flag on its ID card either."

"Finally there's a Taiwanese ID card, I'm moved."

"This is the actual situation, the design is telling the truth."

In response to the criticism, the MOI said that the nation's flag, name, national features and culture are all important symbols of national recognition. The card designers can incorporate these elements into their design, but their thinking and creative ideas will be respected. These new designs will be taken into consideration when the new cards are formulated, but the ministry said it reserves the right the make the decision on the final version.

The last time the national ID card was changed was in 2005 and the new design will represent the seventh generation of the card. The MOI said that the new card will include a laser engraved photo to prevent forgery, and to cut costs, it may be black and white or citizens will be charged an additional fee, which would reduce the cost to produce the ID cards from NT$8 billion (US$269 million) to NT$3 billion, reported ETtoday.

The online vote started on April 21 and will run until May 11 on the Identity Redesign website.

First place design (55,059 votes)

Second place design (23,991 votes)

Third place design (21,203 votes)

Fourth place design (18,067 votes)

Fifth place design (6,998 votes)