18.5 million eligible to vote in Taiwan's local elections

11/13/2014 06:19 PM

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Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) The Central Election Commission (CEC) said Thursday that a total of 18.5 million voters across Taiwan are eligible to vote in the Nov. 29 local elections.

Voters in the special municipalities of Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Taoyuan -- which will be launched right after the election -- will account for 68 percent of the total, or 12.7 million, according to CEC Deputy Chairman Liu Yi-chou.

On the Taipei mayoral race, which is shaping up to be more intense, about 2.14 million people are eligible to vote, Liu said.

Given a voter turnout of 70 percent, the candidate will have to collect around 750,000 votes to secure a majority, he said.

According to an opinion poll conducted earlier in the week by the China Times, independent candidate Ko Wen-je is leading Sean Lien of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) by 16.7 percentage points in the run-up to the election.

Meanwhile, Liu noted that elections will for the first time use paper ballot boxes, which cost only NT$160 (US$5) each, or 5 percent of the cost of plastic ones.

Around 20,000 ballot boxes will be needed, so the paper boxes will result in savings of tens of millions of Taiwan dollars, he said.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Lee Hsin-Yin)ENDITEM/J

Related stories:●Nov. 12: Sean Lien hits back at report on wife having dual nationality●Nov. 11: Wives of candidates join hands in election campaigns

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