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Dealing With the Absence of Absentee Voting: Transnational Electoral Mobilisation in Taiwan’s 2020 Presidential Elections

Julia Marinaccio
p. 29-39

Abstract

Oriented within political transnationalism, this paper examines emigrants’ participation in homeland elections in the context of the institutional absence of an external voting system. Deploying a case study in a Taiwanese community in Vienna (Austria) and a mixed-methods design, it tackles the processes, actors, and practices of transnational electoral mobilisation during the 2020 presidential elections in Taiwan. Shaped by identity politics, the local Taiwanese community’s organisational landscape facilitates direct and indirect electoral mobilisation. Associations serve as important entry points for politicians, and as platforms for individuals to rally political support. A sizeable share decided to return to Taiwan, time and financial costs notwithstanding. Though only indicative, data suggests that the presidential candidates mobilised more overseas voters than in the 2016 elections.

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Editor’s notes

Manuscript received on 23 February 2021. Accepted on 1 November 2021.

Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on September 2023.

Outline

Introduction
Transnational electoral mobilisation and participation
Methods and data
The Taiwanese overseas electorate
Overseas organisations and political attitudes
Associations as entry points and platforms
Mobilisation effects and voting behaviour
Conclusions

First lines

Introduction

As social relations extend across the borders of nation states in a globalising world, electorates are increasingly geographically dispersed and political mobilisation transnationalised (Adamson 2005; Gabrielli and Zapata-Barrero 2015; Peltoniemi 2018; Paarlberg 2019). Despite the rise of transnational lifestyles, many emigrants still face procedural and institutional obstacles to participation in homeland elections, including the approximately two million Taiwanese citizens who are scattered across the globe. The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election and Recall Act (zongtong fuzongtong xuanju bamianfa 總統副總統選舉罷免法) and the Referendum Act (gongmin toupiaofa 公民投票法) stipulate that on election day, voters must cast their ballots in the designated polling stations of their registered domiciles in Taiwan. Nevertheless, many Taiwanese emigrants continue to invest substantial financial and temporal resources in order to participate in homeland elections.

While extant literat...

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References

Bibliographical reference

Julia Marinaccio, Dealing With the Absence of Absentee Voting: Transnational Electoral Mobilisation in Taiwan’s 2020 Presidential ElectionsChina Perspectives, 2022/3 | 2022, 29-39.

Electronic reference

Julia Marinaccio, Dealing With the Absence of Absentee Voting: Transnational Electoral Mobilisation in Taiwan’s 2020 Presidential ElectionsChina Perspectives [Online], 2022/3 | 2022, Online since 01 September 2023, connection on 27 November 2022. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/chinaperspectives/14184; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/chinaperspectives.14184

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About the author

Julia Marinaccio

Julia Marinaccio is a comparative political scientist who studied China studies and political science in Vienna and Taipei. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Foreign Languages/Chinese Studies, University of Bergen, Norway (julia.marinaccio@uib.no)

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