S. Korean Presidential Election Set For May 9

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The election to vote for the 19th president of South Korea has been confirmed to take place on May 9. The final confirmation also solidifies the date for election days for South Korean citizens either residing or traveling outside their country to six days starting on April 25. The election abroad will be held in 116 countries, including the United States.

“The day to elect the next president has been decided for May 9,” the Korean government announced Wednesday. The South Korean law stipulates that the election for citizens abroad must take place nine to 14 days prior to the official date of the election back home. Hence, the upcoming election for South Korean citizens abroad will begin on April 25 and end April 30.

That also means that the election will begin exactly 39 days from today. As the deadline to register to vote is March 30, those who wish to cast their ballot must be mindful of the little time that remains for them to exercise their rights. Eligible voters can register on South Korea’s National Election Commission’s website (http://ok.nec.go.kr).

The atmosphere around the upcoming election among Koreans in L.A. is heating up by the day. Just between March 10 and 15, 2,582 Korean citizens in L.A. have registered to vote through the South Korean consulate office in L.A. That is eight times higher than the registration rate for the previous South Korean presidential election in 2012 for the first six days after the application process began.

Those who have registered to vote recently can also take place in electing the presidential nominee for The Minjoo Party by clicking on the registration banner on the party’s website (http://theminjoo.kr). The deadline is 6 p.m. on March 21.

The election for citizens abroad will take place in 204 locations across 116 countries. In L.A., three voting locations will be set up. The consulate office will be one of the three, while the other two locations have not been decided yet.

By Koo Hyun Chung