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NEC to Prepare Voting and Counting Without Disruptions

Date :Apr/14/2020Read : 373

= Disinfection to be complete at 14,330 polling stations and 251 counting stations by the day before they are set up =

= 150,000 polling station staff and 70,000 counting station staff to participate in election management  =

= Voting aids, special marking devices, magnifying glasses and other special equipment to be placed in polling stations for voters =

= The whole process will be disclosed to all citizens through live broadcasts of voting and counting =


The National Election Commission (NEC) of the Republic of Korea announced preparations for voting and counting of the 21st National Assembly elections are going smoothly, and plans to complete the setting up of 14,330 polling stations and 251 counting facilities nationwide by the day before election day.


Setting up Polling Stations to Enhance Voting Convenience


For the convenience of voters, the NEC arranged 99.1 percent (14,201) of all polling stations to be installed on the first floor or in a building with an elevator, and has installed temporary ramps where necessary.


A larger polling booth with wheelchair access will be available for use at all polling stations, and special marking devices (mouse-type and wristband-type aids), magnifying glasses, and braille-type voting aids for visually-impaired voters will also be provided.


The NEC will also provide video call sign language interpretation services for deaf voters for the first time in this election.


A total of 158,000 people will be working at polling stations, including polling station managers and polling station staff, and other staff will also be participating in election management including police and voting observers. 


Polling Stations to be Disinfected Thoroughly to Ensure Voters can Cast their Ballot Safely


Polling stations will be disinfected by April 14, and any persons will be prohibited from entering the polling stations until the start of voting.


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 temporary polling booth, and this booth will then by disinfected immediately after use.


All polling station staff should minimize contact with voters and wear masks and sanitary gloves. Polling station guides will ensure voters are kept at least one meter apart and polling stations will be regularly ventilated.


Fair and Accurate Counting Management 


Meanwhile, the NEC said it will conduct a final mock test of the ballot sorting machine on the day before election day, in the presence of observers selected by each political party and candidate.


The ballot box at the polling station shall be sealed with a special seal after the close of voting, and the ballot box shall be transported to the counting station by the polling station managers and voting observers under police escort. 


Early voting and home voting ballot boxes stored at each Gu/Si/Gun election commission shall be transferred to the counting center together with election commissioners and counting observers recommended by political parties as well as police.  


Around 74,000 people will be involved in counting the votes. The 48.1cm long ballot papers for elections for proportional representation members of the National Assembly will be sorted and counted manually because they are too long to use the ballot sorting machine, but the ballot papers for elections for constituency members of the National Assembly will be sorted by the sorting machine. Sorted ballots are checked again using the ballot examination and tabulation device and checked by the naked eye. 


Counting observers selected through a public recruitment process will also observe the counting process at all counting stations.


Disinfection of Counting Stations, Anybody who has Recently been Abroad will be Excluded from being Counting-Related Officials 


Counting stations will also be disinfected by the day before counting. Hand sanitizer shall be provided at the counting place and the doors handle, counting equipment and other items will be disinfected regularly. Also, the NEC will inform political parties and related persons that anybody who has recently been abroad will be excluded from registering as either counting staff or observers.


Ventilation systems in the facilities will also be operated at their highest setting. If any of the persons involved with counting experience abnormal symptoms such as a fever, they will be immediately replaced with reserve personnel.


Anybody entering a counting station will have their temperature checked and anybody has a fever or respiratory symptoms will be prohibited from entering. Also everyone should wear masks.


If Anybody Involved with Counting Does Not Comply with the Code of Conduct or Cooperate in Maintaining Order, They will be Removed


The NEC has also set a code of conduct for counting-related persons. All counting staff should wear masks and medical gloves and refrain from unnecessary conversation.


Counting observers should observe at an appropriate distance, and anybody watching the counting or media can only watch or report from a designated place.


The NEC will order counting observers and other participants to leave if they are deemed to be a threat to the counting staff safety, violate guidelines or do not cooperate in maintaining order.


The NEC said it plans to pay special attention to safety within counting stations as many people are together for a long period, whilst at the same time conducting the counting quickly and accurately.


Meanwhile, in order to guarantee the public's right to information, e-tv will broadcast live the progress of voting and counting. 


BeforeNEC to Make the Upmost Effort in Ensuring Every Voter can Vote Safely
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