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2020 General Elections: Early Results Flow In Updated: 2020-04-15 22:09:21 KST

Despite the physical distancing, despite worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, not only did South Korea manage to push ahead with a nationwide election, but a 28-year high voter turnout of a whopping 66.2 percent.
To what can we attribute this record high turnout?

Fears of coronavirus are resetting the political calendar across the world, but that is not the case in South Korean elections. But, it did have an impact on those overseas voters, Mokyeon.

Yes, from late March, the National Election Commission cancelled overseas voting in 65 diplomatic missions in 40 countries, for the first time since the system was first introduced in 2012.
This meant only half of the nearly 172,000 eligible voters were able to cast their ballots.
Koreans in the U.S. , the UK, France, Italy and many other European countries were unable to vote.

Following continuing concerns over the turnout and the citizens' right to vote, the commission and health authorities announced that COVID-19 patients in South Korea who pre-registered last month can send their ballots from where they are quarantined through mail.

And just a few days ago, the Ministry of Health and Welfare laid down new measures to allow more people to vote by temporarily lifting quarantine hours for asymptomatic people who are in self quarantine for possible COVID-19 infections.
They've been allowed to leave their homes from 5:20 PM, and finish their votes and return home by 7PM.

Mok-yeon, how does this year's general election differ from the previous years?

As many of you already know, this election comes at a sensitive time when the nation is in the midst of fighting the coronavirus outbreak, so alongside local voters, other countries are also paying a lot of attention.
Though many countries such as Britain, France and Chile decided to postpone their respective elections to prevent the possibility of the spread of COVID-19, South Korea has become the first country to hold such a large-scale election during the pandemic.
As part of efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, the National Election Commission has implemented various measures, such as making voters wear masks and gloves and making them stay at least a meter away from each other.
Due to this, much attention is focused on today's election, not only from local observers but also from across the globe.
Some foreign media even described South Korea as Asia's beacon of democracy.
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