TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Central Election Commission (CEC) on Thursday expressed the hope that the results of the 10 referendums scheduled for November 24, the same day as nationwide local and regional elections, should be known by 2 a.m. the following morning.
In most localities, voters will have to cast ballots for a wide range of officials, such as city mayors or county magistrates, councilors, and neighborhood chiefs. Due to the relaxation of restrictions on referendums, 10 proposals for plebiscites have also been approved.
In order to avoid overworking the election staff, the counting of the votes in both the elections and the referendums should be completed by midnight November 24, but the announcement of the results would likely come within the following two hours, the CEC said in a report presented to the Cabinet Thursday.
The report put the total cost of the voting at NT$4.69 billion (US$153 million), including NT$1.5 billion for the referendums, with 279,000 election staff and 16,000 police officers to be mobilized, the Liberty Times reported. The 15,886 polling stations would be staffed with an average 13.5 people to count ballots and six to handle the referendums. The recruitment of the necessary staff was almost complete, the CEC said Thursday.
When arriving at the polling station, voters should ask for all the ballots at once, since they would not be allowed to ask for one particular electoral or referendum form at first and then go back to receive a different one, the CEC said. It also explained the procedure in a one-minute movie posted on YouTube. Each voter would need about 2 minutes and 10 seconds to complete the process.
Previous referendums needed at least 50 percent of eligible voters to cast a ballot for the result to be valid, which led to none of the proposals being approved. Due to amendments to the Referendum Act, this year’s proposals only need 25 percent of eligible voters to cast a ballot, while the minimum age for voters has been lowered to 18.
The 10 referendums deal with issues such as Taiwan’s name at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, same-sex marriage, and energy policies.