The Korean Election Act
According to the Korean Election Act, Art. 15 stipulates that a National of 19 years of age or above has a voting right for the elections of the President and the members of the National Assembly. Any person of 19 years of age above or falls under any of the following sub-paragraphs as of the basis of preparation of the electoral register under Art. 37 (1) shall have a right to vote in the elections of local council members and the head of the local government in the district;
- Any person whose resident registration is made in the district under the jurisdiction of the relevant local government,
- Any national who is enrolled in the list of reporters of domestic domicile of the relevant local government pursuant to Art. 6 (1) of the Act on the Immigration and Legal Status of Overseas Koreans, and,
- Any person who is enrolled in the register of foreigners of the relevant local government pursuant to Art 34 of the Immigration Control Act as a foreigner for whom three years have passed after the acquisition date of qualification for permanent residence under Art. 10 of the same Act.
The Public Official Election Act’s Regulations
According to Article 18 of the Public Official Election Act, these following persons are disenfranchised from voting;
- A person who is declared incompetent,
- A person who is sentenced to imprisonment without prison labor or a heavier punishment, but whose sentence execution has not been terminated or whose sentence execution has not been decided to be exempted,
- A person who commits an election crime, who commits the crimes provided for in the provisions of Art. 45 and 49 of the Political Fund Act,
- A person whose voting franchise is suspended or fortified according to a decision by court or pursuant to other Acts.
The head of Gu, Si, and Gun surveys persons who have the right to vote whose resident registration have been made or whose domestic domiciles have been reported in the relevant district as of 28 days before the election day in a presidential election and 19 days before the election day in elections of members of the National Assembly, local council members and the head of a local government by voting district, and prepare the electoral register within five days from the basic date for preparation of the electoral register (Art. 37).
The electoral register shall include the elector’s name, address, sex, date of birth and other necessary matters. The head of Gu/ Si/ Gun should prepare the electoral register, immediately send a certified copy to the competent Gu/Si/Gun election commission.
The 2020 General Election for Voter Registration
The National Election Commission (NEC) of the Republic of Korea announced a total of 43,994,247 voters are eligible to vote in the 21st National Assembly election. There were 1.15 million eligible voters who were 18 or 19 (2.6 percent), 6.8 million eligible voters in their 20s (15.5 percent), 6.99 million eligible voters in their 30s (15.9 percent), 8.36 million eligible voters in their 40s (19.0 percent), 8.65 million eligible voters in their 50s (19.7 percent), 6.44 million eligible voters in their 60s (14.6 percent), and 5.57 million eligible voters aged 70 or older (12.7 percent).
By gender 21.79 million men (49.6 percent), 22.17 million women (50.4 percent) were eligible, and by region Gyeong Province had the largest number of eligible voters at 11.06 million (25.2 percent), and the Sejong Special Self-Governing City had the lowest number of eligible voters at 260,000 (0.60 percent).
The nationwide voters list is drawn up of voters who had a resident registration in their relevant Gu/Si/Gun as of March 24 and anybody who changed their residency after March 25 and they wished to vote on election day they should vote in the jurisdiction of their previous address. During the early voting period (April 10 to 11), the voters could cast their ballot at any early voting station around the country without separate registration.
Public Official Election Act, Art 15 and 18
Press Releases, 30 April 2020, https://m.nec.go.kr/engvote_2013/04_news/02_02.jsp?num=583&pg=1&col=&sw=