The final voter turnout for the parliamentary election hit 58 percent, slightly lower than the originally anticipated 60 percent mark, but the highest since 1996, with a noticeable jump among 20- and 30-somethings.
The National Election Commission said 24.4 million out of 42.1 million eligible Korean voters cast their ballots, the highest in 20 years when 63.9 percent of voters turned out. It was also 3.8 percentage points higher than 54.2 percent in the 2012 general election.
Voters have their identities checked to cast their ballots during preliminary voting in Cheongju on April 8. (Yonhap)
According to NEC, the higher-than-expected voter turnout can be credited to an increased number of voters aged between 20 and 40, as well as some 5.1 million voters who showed up during the two-day early voting period last week. The early voting system introduced for the first time in the general election also encouraged more younger voters to cast their ballots, the NEC said.
By age, 20- and 30-somethings recorded 49.4 percent and 49.5 percent turnout, respectively, which together jumped 12.1 percentage points over 2012.
Those in their 40s and 50s marked 53.4 percent and 65 percent, respectively, while those aged 60 and above reached 70.6 percent. The turnout rate of senior voters went up by 0.4 to 3.1 percentage points compared to 2012.
By Kim Da-sol (firstname.lastname@example.org