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Voters Reassured about Voting Safely Ahead of the 21st National Assembly Elections

Date :Mar/20/2020Read : 195

• Enforcement of disinfection at all polling stations and mandatory wearing of masks and sanitary gloves at polling stations

• Temperature checks at the entrance of all polling stations, temporary polling station installed separately if temperature recorded as high

• Confirmed COVID-19 patients (who had their cases confirmed after the deadline for registering for home voting) in care centers will be able to cast their ballot at special early voting polling stations 


The National Election Commission (NEC) of the Republic of Korea announced policies for the operation of polling stations to ensure the safety of voters and protect their right to vote despite the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The NEC has prepared safety measures to prevent voters refraining from coming to vote for fear of being infected with COVID-19 and emphasized fully protecting the voting rights of confirmed COVID-19 patients. 


Ensuring the Safety of Voters and Others in Polling Stations


The NEC is expecting to undertake disinfection measures at the around 3,500 early voting polling stations and 14,300 election day polling stations until the day before voting. Outside persons will be barred from entering a polling station that has completed disinfection until voting begins. 


Voters must wear a mask when coming to a polling station. At the entrance of polling stations dedicated staff will use non-contact thermometers to make temperature checks. Voters will need to sterilize their hands with the disinfectant provided and then wear sanitary gloves when they enter the polling station. 


At this point, any person with a body temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or more or with respiratory symptoms will vote at a separate polling booth temporarily set up to prevent coming into contact with other voters. The temporary polling booths will be disinfected periodically.


All polling station staff and observers should minimize contact with voters and wear masks and sanitary gloves. Everything in a polling station including items, equipment and doors that voters come into contact with will be disinfected frequently. 


Polling station guides will be both inside polling stations and at the entrance in order to ensure voters are kept at least one meter apart if there is a line and polling stations will be regularly ventilated to ensure air circulates in polling stations. 


Protecting Voting Rights for Confirmed COVID-19 Patients


The NEC has already enabled those who have confirmed cases of COVID-19 to register for home voting during the home voting registration period (March 24 to March 28) and to vote by mail from a hospital, care center or their residence. In addition, reflecting the results of recent consultation with related agencies, to protect the right to vote for those in care centers who were confirmed as COVID-19 patients after the home voting registration period, special early voting polling station will be set up and operated during the early voting period (April 10 and 11) at designated care centers. 


Meanwhile, the NEC plans to set ‘Code of Conduct for Citizens to Participate in Voting for the April 15 National Assembly Elections’ and to proactively provide information to the public through the media, the NEC homepage, SNS and other sources. The code of conduct will include ‘washing hands meticulously before going to the polling station,’ ‘preparing masks and ID cards’ and ‘restraining from conversations inside and outside the polling stations and keeping a proper distance from each other.’ 


The NEC said it will put every effort in order to create an environment where voters are safe and can exercise their voting rights even in the current national crises caused by the spread of COVID-19. ​ 

BeforeNEC Confirm 58 Re and By-Elections to be Held Together with the 21st National Assembly Elections
Next  Recommendation Petition Templates for Independent Candidates will be Issued from March 21 to March 27