Blank ballots found in Naha election

After the ballot counting of Naha City councilors’ election on July 21, voting officials found more than 3,000 blank ballots in the ballot boxes.

Voting officials suspect that there was little interest in the city election that took place on the same day as the nationwide House of Councilors or Upper House of the Parliament elections. They also see the blank ballots as an expression of voters’ frustration with current politics.

They say that they heard some claims that it was not easy to find candidates to vote for among the names listed for the ballot.

However, the voter participation reached over 60% for the first time in 20 years, but there were some problems, too. The disputed ballots, including blank ballots, numbered 6,342 of the 149,115 total for this election, and it took a long time to confirm what was written on each ballot because they must be checked one-by-one by official observers.