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Overseas voting begins...but Covid-19 leads to cancellations in 40 countries Updated: 2020-04-01 17:23:42 KST

From April 1st, all overseas registered voters, some 170-thousand, would have been able to cast their ballots for the upcoming elections.
But around 80-thousand of them, almost half of all registered overseas voters, won't be able to vote.
The National Elections Committee of South Korea said on Tuesday they are closing 65 of their satellite voting booths in 40 countries, including the U.S., Italy and Germany.

“We tried to ensure the voting rights of overseas Koreans as much as possible by rescheduling the voting period. But with concerns and strengthened restrictions from various countries, which have seen a rapid spread of COVID-19, we decided not to push through with the voting process.”

Many had been looking forward to vote before the unprecedented decision.

"Actually, I was very excited because I wanted to vote, but when I heard that I wasn't able to vote, I was very disappointed…. Just as we have the right to vote, the people here in the U.S. have the rights to be safe and healthy."

Those in unaffected countries such as Japan, which is home to the second highest number of overseas voters, will still cast their votes from April 1st to April 6th.
The participants will be able to cast their ballots for proportional representation candidates, and those who are registered as residents in Korea can also vote for their local representatives.

KIM Do-yeon, Arirang News

Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
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