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Taiwan legislator's vote for speaker disqualified over ink smudge

TPP member's vote for Huang Shan-shan invalidated after ink from chop smeared onto ballot

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Janice Chen shows ink smudge on her finger. (Facebook, Janice Chen photo)

Janice Chen shows ink smudge on her finger. (Facebook, Janice Chen photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan People's Party (TPP) Legislator Chen Gau-tzu (陳昭姿) issued an apology after her vote for Legislative Yuan speaker was invalidated due to an ink smudge she left on the ballot.

The 11th Legislative Yuan commenced with a vote for a speaker and the TPP candidate was Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊), who should have received eight votes from her fellow party members. However, after the votes were cast, a dispute arose over the validity of Chen's ballot because there was a stray mark in one of the columns.

Although Chen had correctly placed the chop in the column for Huang, she also accidentally smeared red ink with her finger on the column for Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Chen Ching-hui (陳菁徽). Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), who was on hand to monitor the vote, argued with TPP Legislator Lin Kuo-cheng (林國成) over the legitimacy of the ballot.

Ultimately, outgoing DPP majority leader and presiding chair of the session Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) ruled the ballot was invalid. This resulted in Huang only receiving seven valid votes.

As no candidate received a majority of the votes in the first round, a second round of voting was held, but the TPP legislators abstained. When the final tally was announced in the second round, KMT legislator-at-large and former Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) defeated his DPP rival You Si-kun (游錫堃) with a count of 54 to 51.

Chen Gau-tzu admitted on Facebook that, while she intended to vote for Huang for the position of speaker, her vote was deemed invalid because the ink from the ink pad she had pressed the chop into had smudged on her finger, which left a mark on the ballot. She apologized to TPP members and supporters.

Taiwan legislator's vote for speaker disqualified over ink smudge
(CNA photo)