Turnout for Wednesday’s local elections was
the highest… since the first local elections were held in 1995.
The National Election Commission attributed this to the adoption of an early voting system.
Voter turnout, however, still fell short of the expected 60-percent.
Yoo Li-an reports. A total of 56-point-8 percent of eligible
voters took part in this local election,… making it the second highest participation
rate in the past five local elections. Breaking it down by the most contested regions,…
Gangwon-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, and Chungcheongnam-do saw a relatively high voter turnout… ranging
from 55 to 62-percent. Cities of Daejeon and Busan was at 54 and
55-point-6 percent respectively. In the capital region,… Incheon and the
populous Gyeonggi-do Province,… saw turnouts fall on the lower side, both at around 53-percent,…
while in the capital city of Seoul, it was just above the average at 58-point-6 percent. “The voter turnout increased because of the
early voting system that allowed people to vote anywhere regardless of their home address.” The early voting system was adopted for the
first time ever, last week, and it saw a higher than expected voter turnout of 11-point-5
percent. Kim says many people took advantage of the
early voting system so they could plan trips on election day.
But the 56-point-8 percent voter turnout still fell short of the widely anticipated 60-percent
rate. “Some pundits had predicted the Sewol-ho ferry
disaster would pull up voter participation rates,… given recent, strong anti-government
sentiment,… but it seems it has only worked to turn voters away from politics.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.”