Elections in South Korea

Elections in South Korea are held on a national level to select the President and the National Assembly. Local elections are held every four years to elect governors, metropolitan mayors, municipal mayors, and provincial and municipal legislatures.

The president is directly elected for a single five-year term by plurality vote. The National Assembly has 300 members elected for a four-year term, 253 in single-seat constituencies and 47 members by proportional representation. Each individual party willing to represent its policies in the National Assembly is qualified on the legislative (general) election if: i) the national party-vote reaches over 3% on proportional contest or ii) more than 5 members of the party are elected from each of their first-past-the-post election constituencies.[1]



All citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote. According to Article 34 of the 'Immigration Control Act,' a non-Korean citizen registered in the relevant local constituency and who has had a resident visa for at least three years has the right to vote in local elections.[2]

Voting methodsEdit

Voting methods of South Korea[3][4]
Office Methods Electoral district
President of South Korea first-past-the-post National
Member of the National Assembly first-past-the-post Constituencies and Party List
Metropolitan Mayor/Governor first-past-the-post Provinces
Member of the Metropolitan Council first-past-the-post Constituencies and Party List
Superintendent of Education non-partisan first-past-the-post Provinces
Municipal Mayor first-past-the-post Municipal divisions
Member of the Municipal Council Single non-transferable vote Constituencies and Party List

Election technologyEdit

South Korean ballots from 2010.

Polling places are usually located in schools. During the absentee or early voting period, voters can vote at any polling place in the country. On election day, voters may only vote at polling places in their registered constituency. Korean voters mark paper ballots with a rubber stamp using red ink. There is one race per ballot paper; if there are multiple offices up for election, ballot papers are colour-coded and voters are issued one ballot per race.[5]

Korea uses a central count model. After the polls close, ballot boxes are sealed and transported to the constituency's counting centre. Traditionally ballots were hand-counted, and optical scanners have been adopted since 3rd local elections held on 13 June 2002. The scanners resemble cash sorter machines, sorting the ballots into stacks by how they are voted. Stacks are then counted using machines resembling currency counting machines.[6]

Korean elections have been praised as a model of best practice.[5] However, the legality of the introduction of optical scan technology has been challenged and there have been allegations of rigged counting.[6]



Position 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
Type Presidential (May)
Local (June)
None National Assembly (April) None Local (June) Presidential (March)
President President None President
National Assembly None All seats None
Provinces, cities and municipalities All positions None All positions None


Position 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
Type Presidential (May)
Local (July)
None National Assembly (May) None Presidential (May) Local (July)
President May 10 None May 10
National Assembly None May 30 None
Provinces, cities and municipalities July 1 None July 1 None

Latest electionsEdit

2022 presidential electionEdit

2020 legislative electionEdit

2018 local electionEdit

Summary of past electionsEdit

Presidential electionsEdit

Legislative electionsEdit

Local electionsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Representation System(Elected Person) Archived April 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, the NEC, Retrieved on April 10, 2008
  2. ^ "Right to Vote and Eligibility for Election". National Election Commission (South Korea). Archived from the original on August 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "Election Districts and Representation System". National Election Commission (South Korea). Archived from the original on August 12, 2021.
  4. ^ "Local Council Elections". [[National Election Commission (South Korea). Archived from the original on August 12, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Tim Meisburger, Korean Elections: A Model of Best Practice, April 20, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Oglim, The South Korean 2012 Presidential Election was Fraudulent, Feb. 21, 2013. (archived version.)

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit