'Support to Electoral Processes and Democracy - STEP Democracy'

Managing elections under the COVID-19 pandemic: The Republic of Korea’s crucial text


COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented pressure on countries and states as to whether to hold or postpone scheduled elections, amid controversies in either case.

Striking a balance between these two choices is not an easy call. Should the fulfilment of the social contract between a government and its citizens come at the expense of endangering their health and lives? Or should concerns of exacerbating the outbreak as a result of the mass gatherings inherent to the societal ritual of voting, prevail over other considerations?

This Technical Paper looks at the experience in the Republic of Korea which is one of the first countries to hold national elections under the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.