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Hit by coronavirus, overseas voter turnout at record-low

Politics 16:49 April 07, 2020

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- Disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, overseas citizens' voting in South Korea's parliamentary elections recorded the lowest-ever turnout of 23.8 percent, the National Election Commission (NEC) said Tuesday.

Only 40,858 of 171,959 people eligible for overseas voting for the April 15 elections cast their ballots, amounting to the lowest rate since the system was introduced in 2012. The number was 45.7 percent in 2012 and 41.4 in 2016, according to NEC.

Overseas voting was conducted from April 1-6 at 85 diplomatic missions, after voting was suspended at 91 missions due to the spread of COVID-19. The disruption affected more than 87,200 voters, or about half of those eligible.

The ballots will be sent home through diplomatic pouches. In case it is impossible to send them back, they will be counted at those missions.

Among the eligible voters, 1,610 have returned to South Korea and registered to vote at home, NEC said.

This photo, provided by the South Korean Embassy in Singapore on April 7, 2020, shows South Koreans waiting in line to cast ballots for the April 15 general elections at a polling station at the embassy. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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