Voter Turnout, Surprise Results Linked to Twitter

      June 04, 2010 09:37

      Korea was buzzing with Twitter messages saying, "I just voted" on Wednesday, many accompanied by pictures of young voters at the polling booths.

      Some experts see a link between the micro-blogging service and the highest voter turnout in 15 years. Twitter brought young Koreans, specially those in their 20s, who have traditionally shown little interest in voting, to the polls, they claim. Turnout among voters in that age group was low on Wednesday morning but rose in the afternoon, boosting overall turnout to some 54 percent and bringing unexpected victories for opposition or independent candidates.

      But Kim Chul-gyun, presidential secretary for new media policies, said the role of Twitter is speculation. "People may have urged each other to vote via Twitter, but there is no way of telling how much of an actual influence it had," he said.

      Top: the printout of a tweet saying, "I just voted" in front of the entrance to a polling station on Wednesday; Bottom: a voter's hand is stamped after she cast her ballot.
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