Taiwan to consider e-voting for referendums

Not all referendums should be held concurrently with elections: CEC

Ballot boxes for last Saturday's referendums.

Ballot boxes for last Saturday's referendums. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following chaotic scenes during last weekend’s voting, the Central Election Commission (CEC) should consider e-voting for referendums, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said Thursday.

Voters could cast ballots in 10 referendums, in addition to selecting city and county leaders and councilors during last Saturday’s nine-in-one elections, causing long lines with cases of voters still having to vote while media were already reporting at least partial results.

Several suggestions to improve the situation have emerged, including the introduction of e-voting and the separation of referendums from elections, the Central News Agency reported.

Lai instructed the CEC to present a report within a month on how to improve the conducting of referendums, including the possibility of using e-voting to avoid confusion.

Preparations had not been sufficient, and during the vote no adequate response to the complaints had been forthcoming, the premier told the regular Cabinet meeting Thursday morning.

The CEC needed to review the complete process, including the presence of dead people on the list of referendum endorsements and the explanation of the referendum questions, CNA reported.

While it was likely that the next round of elections, the presidential and legislative votes in early 2020, would also feature added referendums, there should also be a possibility to separate referendums from elections depending on the timing of the plebiscite proposal, officials said.