選舉的接生婆

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1989 / 8月

文‧唐鎔 圖‧張良綱、林鑫


公平的選舉是實現民主政治重要的手段。在參選人眼中,選舉是一場嚴酷的競賽,唯有獲得選票才有資格成為代言人。在這場激戰中,有群人可謂勞苦功高,卻從不出鋒頭,他們是誰?


「我們就好像是接生婆,不管生男生女,只要不難產、孩子健康就好」,一位身經百戰的選務人員毫不思索地說。沒錯,他們正是選務人員。

究竟那些人才能當選務人員呢?

據台北市選委會副總幹事林燦木表示,在民國六十九年以前,都是由各機關公務員組成,選舉完即解散。六十九年成立了各縣市選委會來統籌辦理選舉事務,中央選委會則主持法令等業務。經驗能夠累積是這個常設機關的最大好處,而通常一個組織的成員約有十幾人。

「平常我們做一些促使選務更順利進行的研究,同時整理每屆各類選舉的資料成冊,以供各界參考」,有十餘年選舉經驗的林文瑋秘書說。

但選舉時,大大小小、瑣瑣碎碎的事,如候選人登記、編選舉公報、造選舉人名冊、協辦投票……這麼多的事,一個小小的選舉委員會那能應付得來?林副總幹事指出,由於民政業務與選舉業務很接近,所以內政部民政司協助中央選委會,台灣省民政廳協助各縣市選委會,各自找伴,一起搭檔。以此類推,台北市民政局自然是台北市選委會的最佳拍檔了。

即使這樣人數還是嫌不夠。於是社會局、警察局、學校老師、各機關公務員也都會被徵召。因此,大體來說,這些都算是選務人員。

一板一眼,務求完美

「選務是立場超然的工作,任何一個缺失都會影響選民、候選人的權益;公正、零缺點的要求,造成我們很大的壓力」,年僅四十多歲卻灰白了一半頭髮的林秘書說。

舉例來說,光是選舉公報,就能引起一大堆糾紛。

新店市民政課課員張至寬回憶,有次印公報時大概是油墨不夠均勻,一位女候選人的相片上有點黑點,當事人十分火大,跑來理論,「幸好她當選了,否則我一定被告到法院!」張至寬「心有餘悸」地笑說。

「有個候選人以為彩色照片較美,便交了張唇紅齒白的照片,沒想到印出來效果並不好,我們趕快停機,跑到那位候選人家中,換了張黑白照片。要不然那些人一定一口咬定你收了別人什麼好處!」一位曾參與選務的公務員說,瓜田李下的嫌疑一定得儘量避免。

「字形也要注意」,林秘書補充:「例如峰與●,候選人要用那個,一定要先確認清楚。」諸如此類的事,可真是層出不窮,但因事關選舉成敗,選務人員都寧願慎重小心一點。

動輒得咎?

選舉人名冊,也是一項工程大又易出問題的環節。

依照選罷法,在選舉前戶政機關必須調出所有戶政資料,將有資格投票的人民做一清冊,以統計選舉人數,確定選票數目。

有一年,貢寮鄉戶政人員不慎漏列了一個名字,投票時那個人不甘心,在投票所大吵大鬧,監票員一時糊塗,便拿了那人弟弟的選票給他,心想反正那個人弟弟在澎湖趕不回來,沒想到後來遭人檢舉,吃了四個月「免錢飯」。台北縣選委會許明義組長說,選舉不容一個馬虎眼,否則還會吃上官司。

每個工作必須精確、按時完成,其中根本不能有彈性,「你不能提早開票,選票也不能印慢,……這比一般行政工作更嚴格」,許組長說。

此外,在待人接物上,更得小心。「這個時候別人請抽根煙,都不敢拿。」萬一被按上接受非法饋贈的罪名,可就麻煩了。他們如履薄冰的心情,可見一斑。

他們都不想幹?

政見發表會,尤其是自辦政見,是選舉的重頭戲,大家通常只注重候選人講得精不精采,很少會想到這麼熱鬧的場合,竟然有人會「不快樂」。

第一種人,是辦政見發表會業務的人。

場地難找是個問題,「很多學校設了PU跑道,最怕高跟鞋在上面踩,每次五、六萬的聽眾也造成很大的髒亂和破壞,有的學校甚至來了公文,表示不願意借場地」,台北縣選委會組員王文諒苦惱地說,今年候選人又多,這麼多場次要安排很麻煩。

此外,在短時間內核定會場登記也容易出錯。譬如一個在十字路口的場地,甲登記這條路,乙登記另條路,審核員一下疏忽,到時二方人馬少不得爭吵一番,選務人員只好趕快請地方有力人士出來排解,通常解決之道是一人安排一半的時間。還好台北市七十五年已用電腦解決這個問題,台北縣今年也將跟進,預料將會省很多事。以往遭此困擾的選務人員不禁額手稱慶。

「不快樂」的人

第二種人,就是政見會監察員。

他們大都是國中、高中的教務主任、訓導主任,主要任務是控制發言時間,對不當言論提出警告、開罰單等。

或許太習慣學生的安靜順從,面對那黑壓壓一片人群,他們情緒又如波浪起伏不定,候選人的每句話、每個動作,都能馬上使之神經緊張,「尤其解嚴前,聽到那些大膽言論實在很排斥」,一位行將退休的老師說。

不妨聽聽他們的苦經:「內心裡我常覺得很孤立——一個人要面對那麼多人。雖然知道有警察及一些情治單位的人在場,可是大家是分散的,所以候選人多講一、二分鐘,我都睜隻眼閉隻眼不予追究」,一位訓導主任坦承。

對候選人來說,能說久一點,觀眾來多一點,正是美事,但有的人想法卻相反。

曾有人因糾正候選人不當言論而被毆,所以「沒人捧場」的政見會,反而是這些監察員眼中的寶,「政見發表期間,每天去選委會領當日監察的場次,就好像對獎一樣,尤其過去未解嚴,拿到名嘴如康寧祥、謝長廷的場次,心情就會很緊張,幸好選委會的人會注意安排,否則二場都那麼熱鬧,會崩潰的」,一位女性教務主任形容。

育達商職訓導主任張勝賢說,除了暴力介入,事實上他們並沒有那麼大的權力糾舉。他建議監察員應該只要寫些意見供選委會參考即可。「而那些違規的人常在犯規邊緣,認定上也很困難」,士林國中教務主任吳昭哲舉例,選罷法上規定政見會上不能燃放鞭炮,但如果在稍遠處放應該怎麼辦呢?且人多根本不知是誰放的,怎麼去糾正呢?

在歲末天寒時,一天兩場共四個鐘頭站下來,確實很辛苦;尤其今年選舉項目多,又是政黨競爭的形式,一般預料戰況會十分激烈,更使老師們視此為畏途:「你們可不可以向選委會反應,我們老師保守、與外界接觸少、又不懂法律,實在不適合擔任監察員……」一位老師半開玩笑半認真地請命。

選票不能外流

此外,選票也常引起許多麻煩。民國七十四年縣長選舉,投票當天一早五點多,余陳月瑛即拿著二張選票,在鳳山廣播抗議,據推測可能是在鄉公所點交時落在地上沒注意到。

所以印錯及外流,真是主辦印票人員的大忌,林文瑋秘書解釋,台北市及台北縣是在縣市政府的印刷所印,較不容易出錯,有的縣市沒印刷設備,招標給外面印刷廠,不容易控制,才會有選票外流情形。

「選票都是連夜趕印,加班、開夜車是常事。」台北市政府民政局股長鍾石盛說:「印選票對印刷工人而言,是筆小財富,所以他們興致高,做得很起勁,我們在旁邊也感染了那分快樂,自然不會覺得那麼乏味。」一位民政課課員表示,有一次一個市公所被竊,剛聽到消息讓他手腳都冷了,幸好票櫃沒被偷。從此以後有關單位不但加派警衛,每一環節也更小心了。

「民國四十幾年時,我擔任投票所的管理員,覺得非常光榮、有面子。」台北縣選委會組員王文諒說,可是現在人都不願做,覺得責任太大,一出錯就會被記過,甚至上法庭。對於今昔壓力的不同,台北縣選委會許組長也深有同感。

時代不一樣了!

他以前在金山鄉某投票所工作,還得在選舉前一天到,請農夫把票櫃挑上山,那時環境單純、選情也較不激烈,工作起來十分輕鬆,現在人重視選舉,參加的人也多,謠言也多了起來。

三重市民政課課員林國雄舉例說,有次某人忘了帶印章使用手指按,結果按錯地方,後來竟傳出做票的流言,造成很大的困擾。「有那麼多人在看,根本不可能做票!」許組長覺得十分冤枉。

此外有些人屬於職業團體,投票時卻執意要投區域立委,「投票當天最常接到這種電話」,林文瑋秘書指出,依選罷法中規定,若想更改,須在投票前六十天向所屬團體聲明修改,後者再通知戶政事務所更改,這樣才能選心目中的民意代表。他苦笑:「可是大概宣傳不夠,很多人仍然不清楚。」

開票,恐怕是選舉中最刺激的時刻了!

「以前開票沒什麼人看,現在都圍得滿滿的」,新莊市民政課課員張樹軒說。

民國七十五年台北市運用電腦開票,省了不少事,可是名單人數卻也多了不少。有一千多個投票所的台北縣,開票速度之快卻令中央驚訝,「我們經過預先演練,拿票、唱票、計票只要四秒」,許組長略帶得意地笑道。

但是在短時間內計算出票數,仍是一項重任,因此「為什麼不能像菲律賓、日本慢慢計算」的疑問,很輕易地便被有「做票」嫌疑的理由打敗了。

從七點半到晚上十一、十二點計完票,投票所這些大多為國中教師、大專青年的工作人員才能回家。

開票後,選務人員是鬆了口氣,但有的落選的人卻忍不下那口氣。有次選舉當日剛好輪到在選委會值班的鍾石盛課長,正想好好睡一覺,突然七、八個壯漢怒氣沖沖地闖進辦公室,把鍾石盛及警衛嚇呆了。他們指責選舉不公平、要求開箱驗票。鍾課長努力地把笑意擠在臉上,突然靈光一現,判斷這個人與自己是同鄉,便馬上說出鄉音「動之以情」,使他們情緒稍緩和,再慢慢解釋開票後若要驗票須上法庭……,才解了一場圍。

全力維持選務運作

在這長達三、四個月緊鑼密鼓、精神壓力極重的情況下,雖然是幾年才辦一次,「這期間做的事夠一般公務員做一年了!」三重市林國雄申辯似地說。

有趣的是,正因如此,所以他們根本沒時間去聽政見,對候選人的瞭解可能還不如關心政治的民眾;有的人忙得甚至沒有時間投票,因為他必須全心全意、眼觀四面、耳聽八方地注意每一環節。

今年的選務工作眼看就要開始了,一位民政課長又開始嚷著要退休,但同事並不予理會,大家都知道這是五十多歲課長慣有的「選舉症候群」。

有些選務人員的太太也開始為先生的健康操心,有的則恨不能年年舉辦,因為這樣可保證先生沒時間應酬。

而今年競選種類多,選務勢必更加繁重。但他們卻都氣定神閒地說:「憑多年經驗,應該沒問題!」

台北市選委會林秘書表示,根據今年二月公佈修訂的選罷法施行細則,今年選務上最大特色是採取「准許主義」,也就是列舉不准的事項,其他都可做,與以前做法剛好相反,這樣監察小組的工作將會輕鬆很多。

民主盛宴,所費不貲

為了維持民主政治的理想及運作,每次選舉都投下了大量的人力、金錢及時間,年底將舉辦的競選,光是中央民意代表,預計將花費六億多新台幣,動員十萬餘人,更遑論還有縣市長、縣市議員選舉了,這場民主的盛宴可真是所費不貲。

看這麼多人盡心盡力在辦這件事,您是否想到了要如何表現,使這場盛會盡善盡美?

選務人員的希望是:請慎重地投下您神聖的一票!

〔圖片說明〕

P.122

政見發表會熱熱鬧鬧地開場,殊不知選務人員在此之前要傷多少腦筋。

P.124

政見發表會的監察員,是唯一「喜歡」沒有群眾魅力候選人的人?

P.126

民國七十五年台北市採用電腦開票,計票效率提高不少。

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近期文章

EN

Election Midwives

Tang Jung /photos courtesy of Vincent Chang、Lin Hsin /tr. by Phil Newell

Fair elections are an important means to realize democratic politics. In the eyes of those who contest them, elections are a bitter battle. Only by winning votes does one have the qualifications to be a spokesperson.


In the midst of the combat, there is a group of people who can be said to "labor painfully and gain high merits." but who never earn fame. Who are they?

"It's like being a midwife. It doesn't matter if the baby is a boy or a girl, as long as the delivery is easy and the baby is healthy," says a veteran election official.

How does a person get to be an election official?

Taipei City Election Commission Vice-Director Lin Tsan-mu indicates that before 1980, the election bodies were made up of public servants and disbanded after the elections. In 1980, cities and counties established permanent election commissions, leaving the central commission to deal with legislative matters. Ordinarily one group has 10-plus members.

"Usually we undertake studies on how the elections can be run more smoothly, and also bring together the election data and publish it," notes Secretary Lin Wen-wei, who has more than ten years' election experience.

But at election times there are so many things to do--registering candidates, printing election posters, making up name lists, helping with the voting. . . . How can a small commission deal with all that?

Vice-Director Lin notes that because election duties and the duties of civil affairs are quite close, the Department of Civil Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior assists the Central Election Commission, and the Department of Civil Affairs of the Taiwan Province Government assists the various county and city commissions. The Taipei City Civil Affairs Department is naturally the partner of the Taipei City Election Commission.

Even this way it seems the manpower is inadequate. Therefore civil servants from the departments of social affairs, police, and schools will also be recruited. In a broad manner of speaking, they're all election officials.

"Running the election is work requiring a transcendent posture. Any error will affect the interests of the voters or candidates. The demand for fair, zero-defect elections creates tremendous pressure for us," says Secretary Lin, half-gray at forty.

Take for instance making up the posters. Chang Chih-kuan of the Civil Affairs Office of Hsintien City recalls that once in making up a poster the candidate's picture had some black spots. The candidate was furious.

"It's lucky for me she won. Otherwise I'd certainly have been in court."

Everything must be done precisely and on time. There must be absolutely no flexibility. "You can't open the ballots early, you can't print them late. . . . It's stricter than any ordinary administration," says Hsu Ming-yi, a group director of the Taipei County Election Commission. You have to be even more careful dealing with people. "You don't even dare accept a cigarette from someone." Now you can understand why they feel like walking on thin ice.

"Political expression meetings" (rallies), especially those run by the candidates themselves (as opposed to those run by the election commission for all candidates to attend), are the central dramas in the election. People only pay attention to the candidates--very few will think that the bustling occasions will make some other people "unhappy."

The first kind of person is the officer arranging the meetings. For one thing it's hard to find the space. Crowds make garbage and damage things. Some schools hesitate to host the meetings. "This year there are so many candidates, arranging so many locations is really a hassle," sighs Wang Wen-liang, a colleague of Hsu Ming-yi. And mistakes can happen--like two candidates getting approval for the same time and same site. The election officials can only call out local influentials to solve the dispute. Taipei City began using computers in 1986 to avoid this problem; Taipei County will catch up this year.

A second kind of person is the "supervisor." Most are prefects at schools. The main task is to control the time allowed for speaking, give warnings for inappropriate speech, and hand out penalty tickets.

Perhaps they're too used to obedient students. Faced with pressing crowds and candidates whose every sentence or gesture can change the audience's emotion, "especially before the lifting of martial law they excluded that kind of daring speech." From their point of view, they feel isolated in the face of a crowd. Though there are police and security officers around, they are scattered. "So if the candidate just goes over by one or two minutes, I don't follow it up," one prefect says.

There have been people hit because they corrected the inappropriate speech of the candidates, so an unpopular meeting is the gem of the supervisor. Getting assignments "is like a lottery." To get a famous speaker like Kang Ning-hsiang or Frank Hsieh makes one very nervous. Two meetings of that type could bring on collapse, says a prefect.

Making up the ballots is often a source of problems. In the 1985 county magistrate elections, candidate Yu Chen Yueh-ying revealed two ballots which had been circulated even before polls had opened. Secretary Lin explains that some counties or cities don't have their own printing facilities, so they contract the printing of ballots out. Its not easy to control, and some ballots may leak out.

Overseeing the voting is not simple either. "In the 1950's, I served as the director of a polling place. I felt very honored," recalls Wang Wen-liang. "But now no one is willing to do it. Any error will be penalized, and you might even have to go to court."

Director Hsu agrees. Formerly he worked in a mountain area. The day before the election he would ask the farmers to bring the ballot boxes up the mountain. At that time the environment was simple, and elections weren't so intense. "Work was quite relaxed. Now everyone looks hard at th elections, a lot of people participate, and rumors have multiplied."

Opening the ballots is perhaps the most thorny moment. "In the past, very few people watched when the ballots were opened. Now, you are surrounded by crowds," says Chang Shu-hsuen of the Hsinchaung City Civil Affairs Office. In 1986, Taipei City used computers to tabulate the ballots. But Taipei County, also much populated, startled the central commission with their speed. "We practiced. Opening the ballot, calling it out, and marking it took about four seconds," says Director Hsu.

After the elections workers can rest. But some losing candidates don't take that rest. There may even be angry voters who think the balloting was unfair.

This three- to four-month high pressure period occurs only once every several years but "its like a whole year of civil service work," says Lin Kuo-hsiung of Sanchung City. What's interesting is that, just because they are so busy, election officials have no time to attend rallies. Their understanding of the candidates may not even be as much as that of informed citizens. Some are even too busy to vote.

This year there are several elections being held simultaneously, so work is up. But they can say, "With years of experience, it's no problem."

Secretaryin notes that according to the amended principles for implementation of the Law on Election and Recall promulgated in February of this year, the main feature of this year's election is "approvalism." That is, those things candidates may not do are listed; everything else is permitted. This is the exact opposite of the past. This means the supervisors' work will be a lot more relaxed.

Elections take manpower, money, and time. This year's year-end elections will cost more than NT$600 million and require more than 100,000 people. Have you thought about what you should do to make things better? Election workers hope: please cast your sacred ballot prudently.

[Picture Caption]

Political expression meetings can be bustling events--little do you know how many headaches this causes the election workers.

Is the political expression meeting supervisor the only person who likes most the candidates with the least crowd appeal?

In 1986 Taipei used computers to tabulate ballots, saving considerable effort.

 

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