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Second day of early voting for general elections under way

Voters line up outside a polling station in Seoul on April 5, to cast ballots on the first day of early voting for the parliamentary elections. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

The second and final day of early voting for the parliamentary elections got under way Saturday after a record turnout was set the previous day.Voters will have until 6 p.m. Saturday to cast their ballots at 3,565 polling stations. Those missing the opportunity this weekend will have to vote on Election Day on Wednesday.According to the National Election Commission (NEC), 6,910,510 out of 44,280,011 eligible voters cast their votes Friday for a turnout rate of 15.61 percent, a record for the first day of early voting for parliamentary elections. Korea introduced the early-voting system in 2014.On the first day of early voting, turnout exceeded 10 percent in all 17 major cities and provinces nationwide, led by South Jeolla Province with 23.6 percent. The turnout in Seoul was 15.83 percent. The NEC said the overall turnout had reached 17.78 percent as of 9 a.m. Saturday, with 7,875,045 voters having participated.

At the same point for the previous parliamentary elections in 2020, the turnout was 14.04 percent.South Jeolla continued to lead the way with 26.51 percent. The southeastern city of Daegu brought up the rear at 13.91 percent.The quadrennial race is considered crucial for the ruling People Power Party as failure to regain a majority could potentially render President Yoon Suk Yeol a lame duck for the remaining three years of his single five-year term.The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea, which enjoyed a landslide victory in the previous elections, aims to retain its parliamentary majority.According to a survey conducted jointly by Yonhap News Agency and Yonhap News TV earlier this week, 80 percent of respondents expressed a definite intention to cast their votes.Among those intending to vote, 39 percent planned to visit polling stations 스포츠토토존 during the early-voting period, while 58 percent intended to vote on Election Day

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