SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea kicked off two days of early voting for the April 15 parliamentary elections on Friday in the midst of its fight against the new coronavirus pandemic.
Eligible voters will be able to cast ballots at 3,508 polling stations nationwide from 6 a.m. to 6.p.m. through Saturday, according to the National Election Commission (NEC).
The country will conduct the polls in the midst of its battle against COVID-19, with more than 10,000 confirmed cases here.
Guaranteeing voter safety at polling stations has become the top priority for the NEC in preparing for the elections due to concerns that voters could be exposed to the risk of infection.
The watchdog strongly urged voters to wear face masks when visiting polling stations.
At the entrance, voters will have their temperature checked. Voters should keep a distance from others of at least 1 meter while waiting to vote.
All voters will cast ballots after disinfecting their hands with sanitizers and wearing plastic gloves. Election officials will disinfect polling booths and ballot stamps.
Voters whose temperature tops 37.5 C or who show symptoms of a respiratory ailment will be guided toward separate polling stations to avoid contact with other people.
The watchdog also set up special polling stations at eight facilities where COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms are being treated.
According to the NEC, in a survey of 1,500 voters, 72.7 percent of the respondents said they will definitely vote in the elections.
This represented an 8.8 percentage point rise compared with the 2016 parliamentary elections.
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