As Honam records the highest turnout by region, attention is being paid to the counting of ballots to find who will be the winner between liberal candidate Moon Jae-in and centrist Ahn Cheol-soo in the nation’s southwest.
The Honam region is composed of Gwangju and the South and North Jeolla provinces. It has a total 4.2 million voters collectively.
Over the past few decades, the region has traditionally been the home turf of liberal candidates. In this election, Moon of the Democratic Party of Korea was hovering around 50 percent in support as of May 3, and that of Ahn of the People’s Party was around 35 percent.
The number of voters in Honam lags far behind that of Yeongnam -- composed of Busan, Ulsan, South and North Gyeongsang provinces -- whose number of voters exceeds 10 million.
Nonetheless, voter sentiment in the region is significant, as it has had much impact on vote rates in the Seoul metropolitan area, where a large portion of Honam-born residents live.
Less than five hours remain before exit poll results are to be unveiled on TV at 8 p.m. Ballot counting is scheduled to start 30 minutes after the May 9 election ends.