Korean Elections

The last time I saw one of my husband’s niece (which was actually last Sunday during his cousin’s wedding), she said that her class learned about the elections in the Philippines. She asked me if it was true that a Filipino had to write down a long list of names during the elections. I said yes, but that was before the computerized elections (which was authored by then Senator Richard Gordon). She went wide-eyed when I told her it usually took months to learn the winners of an election before we had the automated elections last year.
Elections in Korea is pretty different. There are no posters plastered on public properties. Instead, you’ll find banners of the candidates at designated places. Since people (especially in big cities like Seoul) are very busy, the candidates do their campaigns on the street. You’ll see them in their “election trucks” explaining their platform or agenda, while their supporters greet and bow to the passersby. No singing nor dancing. (Well, their supporters would cheer dance for them in some occasions.) Campaign season is only two weeks before the election.
Before the election day, the government sends out “election packets” to the head of the household. Here is how it looks like:

Korean election packet
Korean election packet

Inside the packet, you’ll find a profile of each candidate highlighting their biography and their agenda. A sheet of paper is also included. Here you’ll find a map to the voting place as well as the list of eligible voters in the family.
The last Korean elections held in Seoul was on October 26th. We had to vote for a mayor and a councilor of our district. The former mayor resigned after a dismal result of a referendum regarding free lunch. I didn’t vote for the former mayor but at least he kept his word that he would resign if he lost the referendum.
The voting precinct opened at 6 o’clock in the morning and closed at 8 o’clock in the evening. I voted at around 4 o’clock in the afternoon after picking up my son from the day care. Once I got inside, I just needed to say my name, show an ID and sign. I was given two sheets of paper: one for the mayor and another for the councilor. It took me about ten seconds to stamp my choices. I then dropped the papers in the box and I was done! It was fast. We learned who won the mayoralty before midnight.
Next year in December, we’ll be voting for a new Korean president. It would be my first time to vote for a president.


  1. As a public servant, i really envied how other country held their elections in a very peaceful and systematic way..how i wish someday, we can conduct an election free of fraud, doubts and in a peaceful way….

    1. It’s because sometimes people wouldn’t go out of their way to check the candidates. With the leaflets, you could read each candidates credentials in the toilet!

  2. while dito sa pinas..ang dumi2 ng mga streets pag may election dahil sa mga posters dito posters dun..lalo na pag election day..tapos minsan..kami pa mga residente naglilinis ng mga kalat na papel..tskk..tskk…

  3. one of the factors why pinas has this kind of “circus” atmosphere during elections is because of the idea of “popularity vote”, a social stigma that most of the filipinos from the voting society used as their basis of choosing their candidates. reality bites, the conduct of election is most likely a fiesta/drama/entertainment rolled in one fiasco. nakakalimutan ang tunay na purpose why we choose our rep., to lead us towards to the betterment of our country and its constituents. that’s why i’am in favor of revising some provisions of the omnibus election code to jive and enjoin with the development on modern electoral system.
    nonetheless, the result of the 1st nationwide automated elections last 2010 gave the phil. electoral system a new face not only to the filipinos but before the international community. though in my pov it was not 100% perfectly executed, occurrence of some glitches are natural in first trial, but it somehow solved difficult areas in the system like: writing of candidate’s name, manual counting, manual canvassing, and the long overdue proclamation of winning candidates. ika nga nila, one step at a time, mapeperfect din natin yan.
    with fresh ideals and young blood legislators/public servants, hindi malayong maging posible ang pagbabago para sa ikakabuti ng bansa.

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