People in Isolation or Quarantine Can't Vote: CEC|居家隔離.檢疫選民 中選會:不得外出投票
People undergoing home isolation or quarantine are not allowed to go out and vote, says the Central Election Commission, as there are 10 by-elections that are scheduled to take place this year. Some believe it is a deprivation of civil rights and suggest voting by mail could be a viable solution.
Many public activities have been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak. Those who violate their at-home isolation or quarantine and appear in public will be fined. At least 19 local by-elections are scheduled to be held in 2020. Will people undergoing isolation or quarantine at home be allowed to go out to vote? On March 12, Central Election Commission Chairperson Lee Chin-yung said these people are not allowed out according to the law. In response, lawyers said the government needs to roll out a complete set of measures to avoid depriving people of their right to vote.
The Central Election Commission needs to come up with a complete set of measures to allow these people in isolation or quarantine to exercise their right to vote. If it fails to do so, it is restricting the rights of people.
The same regulation was in place during the SARS epidemic period in 2003 and 2004. Since people aren't allowed out, they can't exercise their right to vote.
The CEC intends to handle this situation according to what was done in 2004 during the SARS epidemic. It added the Constitutional Court's Interpretation No. 690 said there was no violation of legal clarity and proportionality. Meanwhile, legislators had differing opinions. One Kuomintang legislator said the possibility of mail-in ballots should be considered, while a Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker said that is too risky.
With regards to special stop-gap measures under special circumstances, we believe the Central Election Commission should handle the relevant discussions more prudently.
I think mail-in ballots will have a comparatively larger impact. For example, should we exclude mail-in ballots from China? I hope the Kuomintang will not take advantage of the disorder in discussions about this issue because this is a serious issue.
The public expects the government to consider mail-in ballots or offer a complete set of measures while prioritizing disease prevention and protecting the right to vote. The CEC says further discussion is needed.
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