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Votes already cast made public end up being invalid

Posted March. 07, 2022 07:51,   

Updated March. 07, 2022 07:51


There is a growing controversy over the National Election Commission’s poor handling of early voting. Starting from much criticism about leveled at how COVID-19 patients and those in self-quarantine are managed during early voting, the election authorities will come under intense fire additionally for dealing with ballots already cast inappropriately and unprofessionally. In principle, any ballot paper that is disclosed shall be rendered valid unless any voter releases one’s ballot intentionally, said the NEC. However, it has been reported that some election precincts already made all such votes invalid.

The NEC office in Daegu City said on Sunday that a voter in Manchon 1-dong, Suseong District, received an envelop with a ballot already cast on Saturday. “As too many voters came in at one go, we found it inevitable to reuse voting envelopes. We made a mistake while emptying multiple envelopes at the same time to reuse them,” explained an NEC official. Ballot papers already cast and made public were put in ballot boxes with the phrase “vote disclosed” marked on them. Although such ballots are calculated as part of the total number of votes, they are considered invalid in the ballot counting process.

However, although a vote cast on Saturday for the ruling Minjoo Party of Korea Lee Jae-myung in a polling station located in Sinsa 1-dong, Eunpyeong District, Seoul, was made public. “It will stay valid because it was released publicly regardless of the voter’s intentions,” said the NEC. “Any ballot sheet already cast, if released by mistake without the voter’s intentions, may be regarded as valid as per voting supervisors’ judgement.”

Complaining about receiving ballots already cast by other voters, some upset voters tore apart ballot papers that the NEC newly delivered. “If voters damage their ballot papers, once newly distributed, they will not be able to join on the election day this Wednesday as well once their identify is verified,” the NEC said.