Focus Taiwan: Public vote counting a powerful aspect of Taiwan’s democracy: scholar

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Taiwan’s public vote counting system is one of the most powerful and unique aspects of its democracy, an American scholar said after observing the presidential and legislative elections Saturday.

“It’s completely transparent, low tech, open and inspires confidence,” Kharis Templeman, a research scholar at Stanford University and program manager of the Taiwan Democracy and Security Project, told CNA in a telephone interview.

“I believe that the whole world can learn something from Taiwan’s elections,” he said.

Taiwan’s vote counting process, in which the poll workers hold up each ballot and call out the name of the candidate selected, is open to the public.

“Everyone is allowed to watch, record, supervise, and even call out any mistakes,” Templeman said. Those involved are “using their lives to protect democracy,” he added.

He said that although Saturday was not his first time observing Taiwan’s vote-counting process, it was still incredibly moving.

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