Can South Korea serve as an example to the United States on how to run an election during COVID-19?
Vote and share your thoughts & comments below!
What is it?
- On April 15, South Korea will go ahead with its parliamentary election despite the global COVID-19 outbreak. In order to ensure the safety of its citizens, the South Korean government has disinfected over 14,000 polling stations and marked 3-foot intervals to make sure that voters practice social distancing.
- South Korea and the U.S. confirmed their first COVID-19 cases within a day of each other but today the U.S. has the most confirmed cases globally while South Korea has barely surpassed 10,000.
Why is it important?
- Forty-seven countries including the United Kingdom, France and Ethiopia have postponed their elections but South Korea provides some important lessons to other democracies like the United states who are considering how to proceed with their elections.
- As governments prepare to hold elections amid COVID-19, campaigns must make similar adjustments. In South Korea candidates took their campaigns online and engaged with their constituents in creative ways which practiced social distancing.
- One thing to note is that online campaigning risks marginalizing people who have little or no access to internet services. Also, in countries with state-run media and internet services, opposition parties often have a difficult time taking their campaign online.
What can you do?
- Check out 5 things governments should be doing in Freedom House’s Principles for Protecting Civil and Political Rights in the Fight against Covid-19.
- Check out some best practices from South Korea’s experience dealing with COVID-19 from Foreign Affairs
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