Elections run smoothly despite fugitives, fog


TAIPEI — The polls for Taiwan’s 13th president and 8th Legislature ended Saturday without glitches, except for a few isolated and minor disturbances, such as a few voters who tore their ballots to shreds and activists who conducted electioneering outside polling stations without permission, Central Election Commission (CEC) Secretary-General Teng Tien-yu said after the close of the polling stations. Voting started at 8 a.m. and finished at 4 p.m. and CEC Chairwoman Chang Po-ya estimated that turnout would stand at around 80 percent once the ballots were counted. Teng noted that the act of tearing up ballot papers violates election regulations and offenders are subject to fines ranging from NT$5,000 (US$166.8) to NT$50,000. Saturday’s polls were the first time in Taiwan’s history that a presidential election has been held simultaneously with legislative elections. Fog Cancels Island Flights, Affects Voters Domestic flights to Taiwan’s outlying islands of Penghu and Matsu were canceled due to heavy fog at local airports, affecting thousands of passengers planning to travel home to cast their ballots in Saturday’s presidential and legislative elections, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said later that day.

As of 4 p.m., around 40 flights from Taiwan proper to Penghu and Matsu had been canceled because of the fog.