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Voter turnout of first early voting day for April 15 general elections surpass 12% marking record high Updated: 2020-04-10 17:11:38 KST

Voters headed to some 3,500 polling stations nationwide on Friday to cast their ballots for the 300 parliamentary seats that will make up the 21st National Assembly.
After presenting valid ID, voters receive two ballots: one to pick candidates for their specific districts, and one to choose candidates under the nationwide proportional representation system.

There's a great deal of attention on turnout during the early voting period, because in the past two large-scale elections, this is when more than one-fifth of the total electorate cast their ballots.

Despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, Friday's turnout has been tallied at 12.1 percent, which is the highest ever recorded for the first full day of early voting.

Citizens say it's even more important to exercise their right to vote at this difficult time.

"I think overcoming this difficult time by coming out to vote shows the power of the people and the power of our votes."

"Because so many people are going through hard times right now, I came by from work with the hope of creating a better country for our citizens."

"As part of efforts to reduce the possible spread of the virus, the National Election Commission has been disinfecting all polling stations nationwide.
When voters enter the polling station, authorities check their temperature and ask them to spray disinfectant on their hands, wear gloves and put on a mask."

The polling stations are sanitized regularly, and when people wait in line, they are required to stay at least a meter away from each other.
The Commission also set up special polling stations for voters who've been diagnosed with COVID-19.

"COVID-19 patients who pre-registered can vote at their respective hospitals and medical centers.
Those who are under quarantine at medical centers and weren't able to register can cast their ballots at special early polling stations."

There are eight such polling stations up and running at treatment centers across the nation.
The NEC says it's still in the process of deciding how to enable people to vote while in self-quarantine.
The details of that, it said, will be announced on April 12th.

Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.
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