Quarantined persons and youth under 20 unable to vote in elections

People lining up at a voting center in Taichung in January 2022. (Photo: CNA)

People in quarantine and those under the age of twenty will not be allowed to vote in this year’s elections. Elections head Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) spoke with lawmakers on Thursday to address concerns surrounding these rules.

Apart from voting for local officials, on November 26 Taiwanese citizens will also vote to approve or reject a new constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18.

Taiwan’s referendum law allows those 18 years and older to vote in plebiscites. That’s caused many people to question if 18 and 19 year olds can vote for this year’s constitutional amendment. But Lee says voting eligibility is different for referendums and amending the constitution. Taiwan is the only democratic nation in the world that does not allow 18-year-olds to vote.

Lawmakers also asked about controversy surrounding how those quarantined with COVID-19 won’t be able to vote in the elections. This could potentially prevent as many as 300,000 people from voting. Lee says this is not unconstitutional because people must follow national pandemic protocol.

Other countries like South Korea have devised voting systems that allow people in quarantine to vote at designated locations. But Lee says Taiwan does not have this kind of system in place.

Lawmakers say there are concerns that people with COVID-19 will not report their cases so they can still vote. Lee says there is no way for the government to prevent this, but he urges everyone to consider the health of the people around them.

News Source:RTI
Editor:Emma Benack
Source: RTI