Legislature Aims to Expedite Absentee Voting Bill 公投不在籍投票草案 朝野共識盡快實施

The legislature reviewed draft bills on absentee voting for referendums on Oct. 7, with lawmakers urging for a swift passage so it can be applied to the referendum taking place at the end of the year.

Taiwan is scheduled to hold four referendums on Dec. 18. To make it easier for the public to vote, thereby boosting the turnout, the legislature is planning to amend the Referendum Act. Opposition parties and the Executive Yuan have produced their own draft bills on absentee voting. Kuomintang Legislator Lin Wei-chou said the four-party caucuses all agree that absentee voting needs to be implemented as quickly as possible, and they should support the Executive Yuan's version on "transfer" voting if there is a consensus. He hopes the amendments can pass the third reading rapidly so that they can be applicable to the year-end referendums. However, Central Election Commission Chairperson Lee Ching-yung said on Oct. 7 that there is simply not enough time.

Lee Ching-yung, Chairperson, Central Election Commission:"It will take several months to make the preparations. We also have to set up related systems, so it may take even longer. We're very sorry, but it can't be used for the year-end referendums."

Lin Wei-chou, Legislator (KMT):"The Democratic Progressive Party must be thinking that we're motivated by the referendums. However, that's only part of it. The most important consideration is the epidemic situation."

The CEC said there are 19.8 million people eligible to vote in referendums. Of this number, two million are potential absentee voters due to work, school, or military service requirements. The draft bill stipulates that people must apply to "transfer" their votes 60 days before voting day. Lee said setting up related systems will require at least nine months, so it can't be done before the year-end referendums. The Executive Yuan's draft bill only applies to referendums and not to elections for government officials or presidents. Legislators said the Executive Yuan was limiting itself.

Lee Ching-yung, CEC Chairperson vs. Lin Szu-ming, Legislator (KMT):"Why isn't it applicable to elections and recalls for the president and vice president and government officials? They must make the necessary preparations, plus these are more complicated than referendums in all aspects."

Lee Ching-yung, CEC Chairperson vs. Chiu Hsien-chih, Legislator (NPP):"Chairperson, what is your position on setting up polling stations at correctional facilities, military bases, and other similar locations? Setting up ad hoc polling stations is one method. "

Once the amendments pass, those inside detention centers and military bases can "transfer" their votes. The Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Justice are in support of this but believe there are difficulties in setting up ad hoc polling stations. Legislators say the Executive Yuan should convene a cross-ministry meeting to discuss this issue.





中選會主委 李進勇表示:「準備的時間,都要花上幾個月。而且還有關於相關的這個系統建置,那可能要的時間還會更多。所以很抱歉,真的是年底的這個公投,是來不及適用。」

國民黨立委 林為洲表示:「民進黨一定認為說,我們就是為了公投,其實那個只是一部分,最主要是疫情。」


中選會主委 李進勇 vs. 國民黨立委 林思銘表示:「{正、副總統的選舉罷免,及公職人員的選舉罷免,那為什麼不能適用?} (他們必須要做的因應準備,各方面的這個考量,都要比我們公投複雜。」

中選會主委 李進勇 vs. 時代力量立委 邱顯智表示:「(包括在矯正機關,包括在國防部的這個軍營,那包括就是其他的這個執勤場所,能夠設投開票所,主委,你的態度?} 特設特別的投開票所,這也是一種方式。」