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Less than 10 pct of overseas voters registered for parliamentary election

Less than 10 percent of South Korean citizens who live outside of the country have registered for the April 13 parliamentary election, the state election watchdog said Wednesday.

Voter registration for Korean expatriates began on Nov. 15, and 154,217 people, or 7.8 percent of some 1.98 million eligible citizens living abroad, were registered as voters as of Sunday, the final day of registration, according to the National Election Commission.

In 2009, South Korea enacted a law that grants citizens in foreign countries the right to cast ballots both for parliamentary elections and the presidential vote in their homeland.

The NEC official said that the registration numbers were higher than the previous parliamentary election in 2012 thanks to the number of increased polling stations and easier registration process.

Unlike in previous elections, applications were accepted not only in person, but also by mail, email and over the Internet, the NEC said. In previous elections, voters had to visit diplomatic missions to register their intention to vote.

Voting for overseas Koreans is scheduled to kick off on March 30 for a six-day run at 198 polling stations. (Yonhap)

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