One third of nine-in-one election staff had no election experience

A report from the CEC says election work was a first for a third of polling station attendants

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A photograph at one election booth

A photograph at one election booth (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Reports say one third of polling station staff during the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24 were new.

According to CNA, the Central Election Committee submitted a report to the Legislative Yuan that stated a third of all attendees at polling stations had never worked an election before.

The public were heavily dissatisfied with how the election was handled. Many reported waiting in line for hours to vote, as well as misconduct in stations and surrounding areas.

Some were told they would be able to vote in the local elections but not the referendums, as the relevant papers were no longer available. People also complained that the CEC posted results too early, before many had even had the opportunity to vote.

CEC Chairman Chen In-chin (陳英鈐) announced his resignation the next day as a result.

The Legislative Yuan is to invite CEC Vice-Chairman Macoto Chen (陳朝建), Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chuo Rung-tai (卓荣泰) and Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) to discuss the disorder of this year’s elections, as well as independence, impartiality, and how to make concrete improvements in other related areas tomorrow (Dec. 3).

Nearly 296,000 people were recruited to help out during the nine-in-one. Although all personnel went through relative training procedures, for one third it was their first time working an election.

Due to their lack of experience, many were unable to respond effectively to complaints or exhibited behaviors that were regarded as inappropriate. A report from the CEC pointed out that the staff worked long hours under a lot of pressure dealing with complicated issues, which caused slip-ups.

The CEC said voting procedures will be simplified in the future. Staff education and training will be strengthened too, they added.