Korean Elections

Today, April 11th is the congressional elections in South Korea. We voted for a party and congressman. I like the elections here. It’s peaceful, efficient and fast – the total opposite of the elections in my home country. I don’t remember hearing any candidate getting killed nor did I see tons of posters in public places. The Philippines could learn a lot from how an election is held in South Korea.

The Campaign. Announcement of candidates was held on March 22nd. That was also when the two-week campaign started. The list of the candidates and their profiles, including their wealth and income, were posted on the National Election Commission‘s website. (Not available now)

Instead of posters scattered around the city, there are designated places where they are displayed. The one below is a reusable banner. Individual posters are inserted in the vinyl pockets.

Posters of the candidates displayed outside a school

The congressional candidate campaigned using a truck, with its own sound system, parked at a busy place. The one below shows the campaign truck at an intersection.

Street campaigning

The supporters are dressed in uniforms and they hand out name cards to passersby. They also danced to the campaign song.

Campaign supporters

Making A Choice. Since we didn’t really have time to listen to the candidate during the campaign, we relied on the materials sent by the Election Commission. We received the packet about a week before the elections. Inside are a sheet with the information where we are supposed to vote and pamphlets provided by the candidates. We read all the pamphlets of the candidates but we only chose to read three of the parties. We even discussed why we should vote for the candidate and the party.

Knowing the candidates

Election Day. The poll is open from 6AM to 6PM. The whole voting process took only two and a half minutes of my time. It made me wonder why only 54% of the voting population chose to vote. I had experienced being in the voting precinct for more than five hours in the past. I presented my ID to one of the officials. Then he passed it to another person to recheck. I was told to get the voting sheets at another table. I was given two papers – one for the party list and another one for the congressional candidate. I was about to take a picture but then I saw the “No camera” sign in the booth. Still, I could’ve taken a picture but I didn’t. Casting the vote was so easy. I just had to stamp on my choices. Then I dropped the papers in the big box and greeted the old man manning the box goodbye.

Inside the voting precinct

Later this year, we’ll have another Korean election. We are going to vote for the next President of the Republic of Korea.

9 comments

  1. Hi there Ms. Betchay!
    I’m envious of how SK conduct their elections in a peaceful and orderly way. As an employee related to elections here in Philippines, i observe the huge differences starting from the campaign period down to casting of votes. I hope in the near future, we can adopt that kind of election here in pinas. Good luck to Ms. Jazmine Lee. I hope she can make it!

        1. Start na this weekend sa Yeouido. Punta kayo this weekend at may performance ang isang Filipino group. May coverage din ang KBS… Sa 15th from 1-120 yung performance ng pinoy group.

      1. Oo nga e. dito sa pinas hindi matuloy-tuloy yong usapan sa National ID. sana magkaroon na rin dito para madali just like there..CONGRATS pala to Ms. Jazmine Lee. She made it finally…

  2. I just came back from a 2-week trip there and saw first hand the campaigns (Incheon, Busan and Jinhae). We took a picture of the supporters, as well as the candidate campaigning on top of a makeshift stage (like the one in your photos). I even saw one candidate at the curb near an intersection waving at the motorists driving by him. It was quite an interesting sight.

  3. I just learned that Jasmine is from Panabo and that she finished her high school at Maryknoll. I thought pareho lang kami na taga Davao area… schoolmates din pala kami.. Congratulations to her! We, Maryknollians, are so proud of her! ^^

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