by TAPCPR 2018/11/24
Today (November 24th) is a 9-in-1 joint election in Taiwan. Due to the aggressive mobilization of anti-LGBT organizations, hundreds of different violations of electoral laws have been reported from numerous polling stations today. From the opening of polls at 8AM, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) by 6pm has received more than a thousand complaints from the public of alleged violations. TAPCPR strongly condemns the anti-LGBT referendum for its role in compromising the electoral integrity of Taiwan and dragging Taiwan's democracy backwards. The reporting received today includes deliberate placing of anti-LGBT propaganda at polling stations. According to the referendum law, referendum propaganda must be at least 30 meters away from the polling station. Due to the fact that the placement of this 30-meter boundary is vaguely defined, thousands of complaints have been received today regarding the 30 meter dispute.
In addition to distributing anti-LGBT propaganda materials, many have reported seeing the display of anti-LGBT propaganda banners and vehicles at polling stations, including at:
Wuxing Elementary School.
New Taipei City:
Fengmingli Community Center, Yingge District.
No. 69 polling station.
No. 1338 polling station, Huoqian Bread of Life Community Center, Fengshan District.
Tianxin Village Community Center polling station, Banqiao District No. 0889 polling station.
Dawang primary school, Dawang Village, Taima Town.
0208 polling station.
Caotun Beitou Centre, Guantian Er Village Hu’an Temple Community Center, etc.
While some rectifications were made after reports were received, some voting stations only made the change several hours after reporting, near the closing of polls.
In addition, dozens of people have reported seeing anti-LGBT propaganda inside the voting booth. Some of these materials were even directly attached to the voting table. These polling stations include:
673 Polling Station, 1523 Polling Station of Dongshi District.
New Taipei City:
Zhonghe Elementary School Polling Station, 0896 Polling Station of Banqiao Cihui Temple, Yonghe Elementary School, Yongmingli 12 ward Polling Station Beitou District, Xinfu-li Polling Station Gueishan district, Hougang-Li Community Center Xinzhuang district.
Shangan Elementary School 0654 Polling Station in Shanan village Xi-Tun, Shanganli Shangan primary school No. 0654 Polling Station.
Nankan Guanming Elementary School Polling Station.
Puzhong Community Center No. 0323 voting office, Minjian Ward. etc.
Most of the propaganda was removed after being reported to the election staff, but some of the staff claimed that this propaganda was placed for the convenience of the voters. Kaohsiung City 1399 polling station staff even distributed anti-LGBT propaganda cards to the public at the polling station.
There were also many reports of staff violating electoral laws. Many people reported that some election officials directly promoted the anti-LGBT referendum to the public. There were also reports of electoral staff selectively distributing voting slips of only some referendum questions to the public. There were other reports of the public receiving voting slips which had already been stamped.
The alleged illegal actions of these election staff, the corruption of Taiwan’s democratic system, and the public’s high degree of suspicion of the legitimacy of the final outcome of the referendum all risk creating serious social instability. TAPCPR strongly demands that the Central Election Commission conduct a thorough investigation and strictly enforce punishment of staff found to have carried out illegal activities during the election.
The Constitutional Court's dicision in 2017 required the legalisation of same-sex marriage within two years. The anti-LGBT religious organizations, dissatisfied with the ruling, launched the referendums with the intention of overthrowing Taiwan’s constitutional order and halting the realization of marriage equality in Taiwan. Since the initial referendum petition launched in June of this year, anti-LGBT organizations have made numerous illegal attempts to influence the electoral process. These attempts include fraudulently gathering signatures and hiring workers to hand out propaganda outside polling offices on the day of the referendum. Today’s referendum chaos will seriously shake people’s trust in the referendum process and results, causing irreparable damage to the legitimacy of this referendum.