Taiwan votes for local governments and constitutional referendum to lower voting age to 18 – The Online Citizen Asia

Voters queuing to vote at Taoyuan in the 2022 local elections.

TAIWAN — The nine-in-one local elections for the next term of local leaders and councillors in Taiwan are ongoing along with the constitutional referendum to decide whether Taiwan’s voting age should be lowered to 18.

The elections, held every four years and described by some as “Taiwan’s midterms” began at 8 am today (26 Nov) and will end at 4 pm. Ballots are expected to be counted by midnight.

There is a total of 19.3 million eligible voters but those contracted with COVID are not allowed to vote in the elections.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said on Friday (25 Nov) that the quarantine measures will prevent 65,000 eligible voters from casting their ballots in the local elections. Those who are COVID-positive but yet still voted, are liable for a fine of up to NT$2 million.

The nine elections include mayors and councillors of special municipalities, county magistrates and city mayors, as well as their councillors, township mayors and representatives, special municipalities’ Indigenous district chiefs and representatives, as well as village or borough chiefs.

The mayoral election at Chiayi City is postponed to 18 December due to the death of an independent candidate, Huang Shao-tsung on 2 November,

The referendum asks whether voters agree to an amendment to see the lowering of the voting age from 20 to 18 and the minimum candidacy age from 23 to 18. At least 9,619,697 votes or over half the eligible voters are needed for the amendment to be passed.

If passed, Taiwan’s eligible voters will increase by about 410,000.

Opposition Kuomingtang (KMT) is expected to win more local races than the ruling party Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Taiwanese political opinion tracker DailyView has projected on 15 November that KMT could win 15 out of the 22 mayoral and county magistrate seats, while DPP would win just five seats.

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