In an effort to prevent voting delays during next year’s presidential and legislative elections, the Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday said that it expects to have 1,346 more polling stations than it did for the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24 last year.

An estimated 17,232 polling stations would be needed nationwide, CEC Chairman Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) told a news conference in Taipei.

The total number of personnel required, including volunteers, is estimated to be 220,000, Lee said.

Lee presided over the posting of the two official notices — one regarding the presidential and vice presidential elections and the other stating that the commission is ready to receive applications to vote from overseas citizens.

At an earlier news conference Lee said that the elections would be held from 8am to 4pm on Jan. 11.

Each presidential candidate and their running mate must not spend more than NT$430 million (US$13.85 million) on campaigning, Lee said, adding that candidates can be nominated by their political parties or run as an independent.

All presidential candidates and their running mates would have from tomorrow to Tuesday next week to register to collect the signatures required to be eligible to run in the elections, he said.

If they collect the required number of signatures by Nov. 2 — 280,384 — candidates can register for the elections from Nov. 18 to Nov. 22, Lee said.

The commission estimates that 19.34 million people are eligible to vote in the elections, Lee said.

Voters would each receive three ballots: one for the president and vice president, one for their district legislator and the third for the party they support, Lee said.

The party ballot would be used to determine how many legislator-at-large seats each party would receive, Lee said, adding that parties would have to receive at least 5 percent of the votes to be eligible for a seat.

The commission would run up to four drills nationwide before the election to ensure that there are zero mistakes in the digital ballot counting process, Lee said.

The commission is also establishing a central electoral affairs command and response center to handle communications and assist with contingencies on voting day, Lee said.

He also urged citizens, including those living abroad, to exercise their right to vote.