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Estimated turnout hits highest figure in 32 years

Backed by record early voting, overall turnout tentatively reaches 67% with Sejong being the highest

By Park Jun-hee

Published : April 10, 2024 - 20:39

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Officials move ballot boxes at the polling station in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, Wednesday evening. (Yonhap) Officials move ballot boxes at the polling station in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, Wednesday evening. (Yonhap)

Voter turnout for this year’s parliamentary elections tentatively reached 67 percent, marking the highest turnout for general elections in 32 years, according to the election watchdog on Wednesday evening.

Approximately 29.66 million out of 44.28 million eligible voters headed to 14,259 polling stations nationwide were open for 12 hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to elect the new 300-member National Assembly, according to the National Election Commission in a statement released at 7:30 p.m. The election watchdog was set to announce the final figure Thursday morning after all the votes were counted.

The provisional figure included the record 31.28 percent turnout for two days of early voting held on April 5-6 and overseas voting for South Korean nationals and those aboard ships that opened from March 27 until April 1.

Wednesday’s general elections also logged the highest tally since 1992, when the turnout came in at 71.9 percent. It was also up 0.8 percentage points from the figure for the 2020 parliamentary elections, which stood at 66.2 percent.

Of the provinces and major cities, Sejong, the nation’s administrative capital, witnessed the highest tentative voter turnout of 70.2 percent, followed by Seoul at 69.3 percent, South Jeolla Province at 69 percent, Gwangju at 68.2, South Gyeongsang Province at 67.6 percent and Busan at 67.5 percent.

The southern island of Jeju had the lowest tentative turnout rate of 62.2 percent, followed by Daegu at 64 percent, South Chungcheong Province at 65 percent and North Gyeongsang Province at 65.1 percent.