After the 1990s, the voting rate of university students and people in their twenties was recorded as being poor and they were unconcerned with politics and social problems. At every local election the voting rate of people in their twenties has always been the lowest. In the 2006 local election the voting rate of those in their twenties was 33.9%. In the 2008 18th general election the rate went down to 19.3%. The voting rate of the young generation has always mattered socially.
In the 5th Nationwide Local Elections on June 2nd, 2010, the government is determined to improve the voting rate among the twenties. It has implemented on-line as well as street campaigns in order to aid in this process. A common feature of these programs is the emphasis of the necessity of participating in the voting system. They think that the best way to improve the voting percentage is to positively advertize the idea that everyone can have a voice in the government by voting.
People in their twenties can spread their influence in the Local Elections on June 2nd, 2010 as a starting point. Let’s look into reactions of the twenties voting in the local elections.
Widespread apathy among the 20s electorate
People in their twenties have been regarded as the “generation of unconcerned election” by the older generation. These days they are interested in getting a job and acquiring their own experience rather than participating in politics and elections. It is because of the economic deadlock and job shortage. In the 1970s and 80s, student movements were commonplace. Gradually students in the 90s were only concerned with their jobs and credit issues. In the last decade they have focused on a person’s right to live and be free. By viewing the student’s reactions at the local elections on June 2nd, 2010 the young have begun to take elections seriously.
A Dongguk University professor of Public Administration said, “when our country had a dictatorial government people could not criticize or join in government decisions freely. As the system began changing people started to request to participate.” One of the ways in which citizens can participate in government is by voting. Even though the twenties voting rate is currently very low, however, their attitude is changing and they realize that there are some issues which can only be addressed by participating in the national vote.
No election pledges for 20s
It is hard to find the election pledges to increase the 20s vote and iron out the realistic difficulties related to making a living such as employment, the youth housing problem and school tuition. Thinking that voting doesn't help to solve their problems directly, the twenties don't feel the necessity of voting. They would rather study to find work or take a part time job to pay for tuition rather than take interest in an election and vote. There are some younger candidates running in the upcoming election with pledges to meet the demands of their generation. "I am running for election to solve the problems that I also suffered," said Seong-ho Choo, a student of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. "Before running in the election, I had a hard time because of the high price of tuition. No matter what I said or how I tried to make suggestions to politicians, there was no response or effort to take care of the problem. At that time I realized that there was nothing to expect from them anymore." Not only Choo, but also about 30 other younger candidates are estimated to help bring out the policies aimed at solving the twenties’ problems. This active participation of 20s shows us that there are really few policies for this generation.
*When are voting hours?
From 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on June 2nd, 2010.
*What types of elections are being carried out on June 2nd, 2010?
There will be eight elections. The specific types are categorized as follows:
Elections for the head of Gu/Si/Gun Government, members of Gu/Si/Gun Council, proportional representatives of Gu/Si/Gun Council (City/Town level), school superintendents and school board members.
Therefore, each voter is to cast 8 ballots on Election Day.
*What is the voting age?
19 years of age or above as of Election Day (those born before June 3rd, 1991)
*What are the materials that I should prepare?
A valid ID card. Any Photo ID Card issued by public offices. For example, Resident Registration Card, Driver’s License or passport, etc...
*What is the voting procedure for the local elections 2010?
1) Sign or seal on the voter’s list presenting a photo ID card at the voter identification section
2) Take ballot papers (4sheets) for the first vote
3) Mark the ballot papers with a marking device
4) Put them into the ballot box
5) Take another ballot papers (4 sheets) for the second vote
6) Mark the ballot papers with a marking device
7) Put them into the ballot box
*What is Absentee Voting?
Voters who are not able to cast votes at the polling station on election day can apply for absentee voting at the head office of their local government (Gu,Si,Gun). They can submit their application by visiting the Gu,Si,Gun Office or by free registered mail. The application has to arrive by 6 pm on the last day of the application period. The application period is May 14n-May 18 (5days).
*When is Absentee Voting?
It is May 27- May 28 (10 am to 4pm).
*Where does Absentee voting take place?
At the nearest absentee polling station.
*For more information on the 5th Nationwide Local Elections on June 2nd, 2010 visit: http://Info.nec.go.kr.
Bang Hye-jung, Park Ji-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
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