The National Election Commission in South Korea decided on Monday to postpone the overseas voting work of 41 embassies and legations abroad in 25 countries, including the U.S. and Canada, due to the concern about the spread of COVID-19. In total, 65 embassies and legations in 40 countries have suspended their overseas voting work.
As the overseas voting period for the April 15 general election is from Wednesday through following Monday, 80,500 South Korean voters overseas – 46.8 percent of the total number of 171,959 – cannot participate in the upcoming elections.
In the case of the U.S., 12 offices, including the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington D.C. and Consulate General offices in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Honolulu, and Huston, covering the areas with high South Korean populations are included in the new list. In the case of Canada, four offices, including the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and Consulate General offices in Montreal and Toronto, are subject to the suspension.
“More regions may be added for the future suspension of overseas voting depending on the spread of COVID-19,” said a member of the National Election Commission. However, some in the political circles say that measures to protect the voting rights of South Korean nationals abroad should have been introduced in advance in the face of COVID-19.
Sung-Jin Park firstname.lastname@example.org