The Korea Herald


Nearly 80% of voters to cast ballot in presidential election: poll

By 양승진

Published : Dec. 11, 2012 - 17:01

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Nearly 80 percent of all voters in the country said they will vote in this year's presidential race, a poll conducted by the state election watchdog said Tuesday.

   The survey carried out by Korea Research Center on behalf of the National Election Commission on 1,500 people nationwide late last week showed 79.9 percent of all respondents saying they will definitely vote on Dec. 19.

   By age group, 74.5 percent of people in their 20s, 71.8 percent in their 30s and 78.3 percent in their 40s said they want to cast ballots. Numbers rose to 82.8 percent for people in their 50s and 91.5 percent for people over 60.

   The NEC said the turnout forecast this year is 12.9 percentage points higher than numbers predicted ahead of the 2007 presidential race.

   In that race, 67 percent of all people polled said they would vote with the actual turnout hitting 63 percent.

   The nationwide survey with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points with a 95 percent level of accuracy, showed 48.7 percent of the respondents saying they will vote for a candidate who offers the best policy pledges, followed by capability of the contender and political experience.

   Of all the media used to gather information about candidates, 37.5 percent said they got their knowledge from televised debates and campaign commercials followed by newspapers, TV news, and social networking services.

   Higher turnout at the polls has generally favored the liberal camp, while lower numbers have generally helped conservatives in past presidential races.

   The ruling Saenuri Party predicted earlier that overall turnout will reach the mid-60s range while the opposition Democratic United Party is aiming for more than 70 percent.

   Meanwhile, the NEC said it will carry out absentee voting nationwide on Thursday and Friday for 1.08 million voters. The total represents a 34 percent increase compared to the last presidential election when 810,755 people registered to vote ahead of the election date.

   The agency said people wanting to cast their ballots must visit designated polling booths from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Yonhap News)