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Early voting turnout for elections stands at 5.8 percent

All Headlines 10:01 April 09, 2016

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- Early voting turnout for next week's parliamentary elections was at 5.8 percent Saturday morning, the final day of the two-day balloting, the national election watchdog said.

Early voting carries extra weight as a recent survey showed that more than a quarter of the electorate has yet to choose a candidate for the April 13 polls to elect 300 lawmakers for a four-year term.

At 3,511 polling stations across the nation, some 2.44 million out of a total of some 42.1 million eligible voters have cast their ballots since the early voting period began Friday, the National Election Commission (NEC) said.

The advance voting was to close at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Election officials have forecast that the turnout for early voting will be higher this year compared to the previous local and by-elections.

The NEC said the total turnout of early voting for local election in June 2014 came at 4.75 percent.

The early voting system, first adopted during the 2013 by-elections, is different from absentee voting in that it does not require voters to sign up in advance.

Eligible voters who may be busy or away on election day, which falls on Wednesday, can simply show up at a polling station during the early voting period and cast their ballots.

The ballots will be kept by the country's election watchdog until vote counting officially begins after the April 13 polls.

khj@yna.co.kr
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