By Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Making video recordings of the ballot counting will be allowed at the next January 16 legislative and presidential elections, the Central Election Commission said Tuesday.
However, the CEC added the caveat that it would only be permissible if the regular order of the counting proceedings was not disturbed.
Before last November’s local and regional elections, the CEC banned the practice, leading to complaints that irregularities in the counting process would be more difficult to uncover.
At a meeting Tuesday, the CEC overturned its own ban though it added it would devise a new set of rules to make the process fair and open. Last week, lawmakers from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party froze part of the CEC budget on the condition that the government body would allow the practice of video recording.
A CEC spokesman said the Election and Recall Act did not specify whether recording ballot counting was legal or not, but the CEC had banned the practice on at least three occasions.
The actual casting of the ballot by voters would still remain off-limits to would-be camera recordings, the spokesman said.
The CEC was still discussing with the Ministry of Justice what the precise rules should be, especially regarding the privacy of election staff.
Next January’s elections are likely to be hard fought, with the DPP hoping to achieve an absolute majority at the Legislative Yuan for the first time ever, while the party chairwoman, Tsai Ing-wen, is also expected to defeat Kuomintang Chairman Eric Liluan Chu and People First Party Chairman James Soong.