Taiwanese Mull Absentee Voting, and China’s Potential Influence On Voters

Th Taipei Times has published a very thought provoking article on Postal Voting. Better than most of the article’s in the US press.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2007/03/30/2003354483

“Worries over China should not be a factor in depriving the public of the right to vote — a basic human right. It is believed that no more than 200,000 taishang [overseas Taiwanese businesspeople] would apply for absentee ballots, a small portion considering a total of 16 million eligible voters,” Chi said.

The Straits Exchange Foundation, a semi-official organization handling cross-strait matters, places the figure at approximately 1 million Taiwanese businesspeople living and working in China.

Another possible consequence of the absentee voting system is that vote-buying, which has long marred Taiwan’s elections, could intensify, said Hung Yung-tai (洪永泰), a professor of politics at National Taiwan University.

Absentee voting corrupts the secret ballot because an absentee ballot may be open for anyone to see, he said.

Vote-buying could become even more prevalent as vote-buyers can check and see absentee voters “stamp the name of the candidate right in front of them” or ask absentee voters “to make a copy of their filled-in ballots” to prove that they voted as directed, Hung said.

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