Coronavirus: How South Koreans under quarantine will vote in election

Media members cover inside a polling station in Seoul on April 14, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL - South Koreans who are under self-quarantine due to the coronavirus will be allowed to vote in person on Wednesday (April 15), provided they do not display any symptoms.

They must also have registered their intention to do so by 6pm local time on Tuesday. If not, they will be allowed to vote only via mail.

About 50,000 eligible voters for the general election are under quarantine at home or at public facilities, figures from the National Election Commission (NEC) show.

Strict measures will be in place for those among them who choose to vote in person, the NEC said.

First, voters will have to wear face masks and travel on foot or by car to get to the nearest polling station.

They can leave their home or quarantine facility only from 5.20pm and reach the polling station by 6pm, when regular voting closes.

They must be escorted by health officials, or be monitored by a tracking app.

While waiting, they must stand at least 2m away from each other.

They will cast their votes in a separate booth, different from the one used by regular voters.

Upon arrival, they will have their temperature checked. They will also be asked to sanitise their hands and wear gloves before casting their ballot. The gloves must then be thrown in a designated trash bin.

Officials decked out in full protective gear will disinfect the booths and ballot stamps after each use.

The voters will leave the polling station using a path that is different from the way they entered, so as to minimise contact with other people.

They must return home or to the quarantine facility before 7pm. They are not allowed to make a stop anywhere, and must report their arrival via the tracking app or mobile phone messaging.

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