Some say voting is one of our rights and duties while others say not voting is also one of our rights. However, if we perceive voting as a more affirmative and positive way to express one`s rights, the turn-around in twenty-something voter turnout will become a source of strength to lead our society.
In November 2007, there was a Student Council election in the University of Seoul (UOS). The total number of valid ballots counted was 3733(52.39%), so the 44th Student Council was established. November last year, the 43rd Student Council election failed because the voting rate was 36.04%, which didn`t exceed 50%. Not to repeat last year`s failure, the candidate main office attached pink balloons to the trees to announce the Election Day and the UOS Election Commission posted the voting rate of each department to induce active participation on the very day.
Low participation was not only the problem of the UOS. Seoul National University also couldn`t establish a Student Council due to a low voting rate. And Ewha Womans University, Hanyang University and Korea University could only avoid failure of their elections by extending the voting period. It is not a problem that only Student Councils of each university face.
Participation rate of the 16th presidential election in Korea among twenty-somethings was 56.5%, which recorded the lowest level compared to the average voting rate: 70.8%. This is enough to cause concern about political indifference and the low voting rate among twenty-somethings including university students.
The reasons for the poor participation are various. According to the results announced by media, distrust of politics is the biggest problem in Korea. This is caused by the loss of political function and disillusion over irregularities and corruption. Even people who say they will vote cast a ballot because of antipathy for a specific politician.
December 19 is the day that Korea will hold its presidential election. It is not a Student Council election but the election to vote for president of a nation. Some say voting is one of our rights and duties while others say not voting is also one of our rights. However, if we perceive voting as a more affirmative and a positive way to express one`s rights, the turn-around in twenty-something voter turnout will become a source of strength to lead our society.