This election, more than any others, was really moved by young people and first-time voters. Spurred by the social movements from the past two years, an increase in participation from younger voters was expected. A lot of postings, like this one from the youth group supporting 柯文哲, introduced first-time voters to the regulations at polling places.
Earlier this year there was a movement for young people to change their home registration to their current residence, so they could make vote to make changes to where they lived. Voting is based on the place of home registration, which is not necessarily the same as place of current residence. Many people, especially students, need to go back to their place of home registration to vote.
Another movement encouraged young people to run for local positions. It is crucial for young people to take part in local government, and be a new voice. These people have become some our city representatives. It is so good to see the younger generation participating in politics so soon.
Many people used their skills to get the word out about candidates, or just voting in general. There was a series of student videos that encouraged people to go out and vote. I especially like this one that shows how many decisions in life are actually dictated by other people, but voting is a way to decide one’s future.
There was also a movement to get people involved in overseeing the election results. Community members are allowed to observe pre-voting and post-voting procedures. Voting is from 8am to 4pm. Before voting starts, the poll workers are required to show that the ballot boxes are empty and clean. After voting, the counting begins. Each ballot needs to be displayed as it is counted. This cartoon by nagee expresses the importance of overseeing the voting process.
One issue that still needs to be resolved is voting age. Voting age is based on age of majority, which is 20 years old. However, all males must do mandatory military service at the age of 18, unless he is in school. The drinking age is also 18. So why must people wait until they are 20 to decide one’s government? The voting age of 20 is one of the highest voting ages in the world. The change was suggested in the legislature earlier this year, but since the change requires a change in the constitution, it was unlikely to move forward. An NGO has been set up calling for the reduction of the voting age to 18.