Dokdo residents to vote in presidental election

For the first time, people on Dokdo, the cluster of islands in the East Sea, will take part in the nation’s presidential election there.

Civilian residents and members of the Coast Guard stationed on Dokdo will be taking part in the Dec. 13 election via absentee ballots, said election commission officials.

Early on Dec. 13, the commission will dispatch officials to install a polling station on Korea’s easternmost territory, and voters can begin casting ballots from 10:05 a.m.

A total 59 voters have applied for absentee ballots.

The group includes the 37 Korea Coast Guard members, three administrative officers, two election officials, the two permanent residents, and 15 members of Dokdo Academy, a private organization working to ensure Koreas continued sovereignty over Dokdo.

Absentee voting was once held on Dokdo for a local election last year, but this is the first time residents can take part in a presidential election.

On Dec. 19, the nation will vote to choose the country’s 17th president.\r\n\r\nOn the day of the absentee voting, a special event is planned as well. The Dokdo Academy members will fly kites bearing a message that Dokdo belongs to Korean territory.

Even though successive Korean dynasties controlled the territory for centuries, the Japanese government disputes Koreas sovereignty. Imperial Japan laid claim to the island cluster in 1905 — the first slice of Korean territory taken before its full annexation of the entire peninsula five years later.
Date : Dec. 04. 2007


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