Mock election set in 108 countries

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Mock election set in 108 countries

Korea’s 158 overseas diplomatic posts in 108 countries will conduct a mock election ballot in preparation for next year’s general election beginning June 30, government’s sources told the JoongAng Ilbo on Friday.

Almost every diplomatic post covering Koreans overseas is expected to cast a vote, ranging from Kiribati, a Pacific Island country where only one Korean is expected to vote, to Los Angeles, where about 180,000 Koreans are expected to vote, the sources said.

Two countries overseas will be excluded from the mock election - Ivory Coast and Libya, due to political turmoil - as well as the Japanese city of Sendai, due to the natural disaster, they said. The general election slated for next April is the first time that Korean nationals overseas aged 19 or older, numbering around 2.3 million as of 2009, will be able to vote for Korean leaders. The election law was revised in 2009.

The sources said the mock vote will be carried out under the same procedural guideline arranged for the real general election vote, except for the number of days needed for the vote.

The real vote will need five days, but given the smaller size of participants in the mock vote - only up to 50 people at each diplomatic post will take part - the mock vote will be conducted on one day. Those ballot boxes will be sent to Seoul by July 8.

Those who have permanent residency in foreign countries, and thus are not registered as Korean residents, will be able to attend a proportionate election only, in which they will vote for the political parties.

Those who don’t have permanent residency such as students or business people, will be able to vote for individual politicians as well.

This will be the final mock vote before the real vote.

By Kwon Ho, Moon Gwang-lip []
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