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Taiwan referendums in 2021 to see nearly 20 million eligible voters

Debate sessions for four referendums to kick off Nov. 13

A person casting a vote. 

A person casting a vote.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Nearly 20 million Taiwanese are eligible to vote in the four referendums scheduled for Dec. 18, surpassing the number eligible in the 2020 presidential election.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) announced Monday (Nov. 8) that the referendums this year will see an estimated 1.988 million voters, more than the 1.931 million that cast their ballots in the last presidential election when President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) won a second term.

The increase is a result of an amendment to the Referendum Act (公民投票法), which lowered the voting age for referendums from 20 to 18, CNA quoted CEC Chairperson Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) as saying.

The 17,470 polling stations nationwide will be open between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. People are advised to visit the CEC or Ministry of the Interior (MOI) websites for information on polling locations and the referendum topics.

The referendums are on putting the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant back into service, banning the import of ractopamine-laden pork, allowing referendums to concur with a national election, and relocating the CPC LNG terminal from the proposed algal reef site off the coast of Datan.

There will be five debate sessions for each issue between Nov. 13 and Dec. 11. The debates will be broadcast by five terrestrial TV stations and livestreamed on the CEC website.

A referendum will pass when one-fourth of eligible voters are in agreement, but only so long as the number of assenters surpasses that of those who disagree. This year, 4.97 million votes are required.

As of September, Taiwan had a population of 23.43 million, according to the MOI.