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Absentee vote for House of Councilors starts

Date Posted: 1998-07-30

Absentee voting for the election of the members of the House of Councilors began nation wide, Thursday, and will continue through 8 p.m. on July 11.

The rules for absentee voting were revised recently with the aim to make voting absent as easy as possible in order to encourage more people to cast their vote. According to new rules, almost any reason is acceptable to cast an absentee ballot, including expected shopping or leisure activities on the day of the election.

Although the percentage of people casting their vote has gone down over the past years as voters have grown increasingly apathetic over politics, the number of people who so far cast an absentee ballot in Naha City was six times of that in last election. Election officials said 56 persons so far have cast the ballot.

The Head of Naha City Election Executive Committee, H. Omura, attributed the rising number of absentee ballots to the extended time reserved for casting the absentee ballot. Officials in other big Okinawan cities, like Okinawa City, Urasoe and Gushikawa reported similar increases. As a rule, the number of absentee ballots reflects the number of total votes cast during an election. Officials at election committees see the increases therefore as a positive sign of an awakening of voters.

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