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Steady stream of people in early voting

April 9, 2016 - 15:51 By 배현정
A steady stream of people nationwide headed to polling stations Saturday on the second and last day of an early voting period for next week's parliamentary elections.

Early voting carries extra weight as a recent survey showed that more than a quarter of the electorate has yet to choose a candidate for the April 13 polls to elect 300 lawmakers for a four-year term.

At 3,511 polling stations across the nation, about 3.2 million out of a total of 42.1 million eligible voters, or 7.83 percent, have cast their ballots as of 1 p.m. Saturday, according to the national election watchdog.

On Friday, 5.45 percent of electorates nationwide, or about 2.29 million people, cast their ballots, the National Election Commission (NEC) said.

The advance voting is to close at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Election officials have forecast that the turnout for early voting will be higher this year compared to the previous local and by-elections.

The NEC said the total turnout of early voting for local elections in June 2014 came at 4.75 percent.

The early voting system, first adopted during the 2013 by-elections, is different from absentee voting in that it does not require voters to sign up in advance.

Eligible voters who may be busy or away on election day, which falls on a Wednesday, can simply show up at a polling station during the early voting period and cast their ballots.

The ballots will be kept by the country's election watchdog until vote counting officially begins after the April 13 polls.