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The Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (hereinafter referred to as the RDEC,) Taipei City Government, unveiled the new version of the i-Voting, Taipei’s online public voting system. The updated system is expected to enhance Taipei citizens’ understanding for the channels participating in the city’s policy formulation and implementation. The RDEC also invited citizens to propose public-related topics for voting on the new system.
The REDC appreciates Taipei citizens’ suggestions for improving the i-Voting system launched in 2015. Accordingly, the REDC upgraded the system and the i-Voting procedures. The new procedures consist of 6 steps: “proposal submission,” “preliminary proposal review” “proposal discussion,” “voting topic finalization,” “voting topics upload and promotion,” “voting, result announcement and implementation.”
The improved procedures ensure to fulfill the four main features of the new system. 1. In addition to the city’s agencies, the public can propose the topics they are concerned about. The newly participation platform allows people to propose voting topics and give suggestions directly; 2. Emphasizing the process of promotion and discussion. The voting topics are no longer determined by the agencies alone. Instead, they are open to the public for discussion; 3. Clearly defining the scope of the voting topics. Taipei City Government takes charge of the scope and limit it to citizens’ interests and rights; 4. i-Voting results incorporated into future policies. The agencies in charge announce prior to the voting how the voting results will be applied. The progress and all information regarding the use of the results will be fully made available to the public.
The first proposal appearing on the new system, announced by the RDEC and the Taipei Zoo, is whether to increase the opening hours of the Taipei Zoo. The proposal is currently at the preliminary review stage. It has been submitted to internal and external committee members to determine if it will become an i-Voting topic. Mayor Wenje Ko commented the new i-Voting is more than an online voting system. It demonstrates the spirit of democracy by emphasizing citizens’ participation in public policy decision-making and the process of full discussion with citizens.
The RDEC said i-Voing is different from other online voting systems. It is not only a voting mechanism but also a platform for citizens to discuss public affairs and express opinions. Furthermore, it ensures participating citizens to receive responses from relevant agencies. It is a well-rounded public participation process. Taipei City Government encourage citizens to give their attention to public related issues and further initiate topics to be discussed and voted on the new system, in hoping to work with citizens to carry forward the civic participation spirit of the i-Voting 2.0 and to make Taipei a better city together.