Officials in some of Tokyo’s 23 wards who were planning to count ballots for the Upper House election the day after the vote are now leaning toward conducting same-day counts.
The House of Councilors election, to be held July 29, will be the first proportional representation ballot from which voters will be able choose either a political party or one candidate among many, rather than simply selecting a party as they did in previous elections. This new option is expected to complicate the vote-counting process.
The home affairs ministry, which oversees public elections, is requesting that all local governments count the ballots on the same day.
Some prefectures are considering a same-day count in the expectation that there will be far fewer candidates standing in the election.
Some major cities, such as Osaka and the newly merged Saitama, have already opted for same-day counts.
As of Saturday, 15 wards, including heavily populated Setagaya, Itabashi and Suginami, had opted for same-day counts, while seven, including Meguro and Ota, are planning to count ballots the following day. Officials in Katsushika Ward are still debating the issue. Taito Ward said in late March it would count ballots the following day but switched on May 17 to the same-day tally system because the number of candidates is likely to total just over 100, rather than 200 as forecast earlier.
Shinagawa Ward also switched to a same-day count after other wards with larger populations decided to switch. Shinagawa will increase the number of vote counters by around 200 to meet the challenge.
An official of the Meguro Ward Office said it might re-examine its plan to count ballots the following day. An official of Nakano Ward said it wold be difficult to stick to a next-day count because more and more wards are switching to same-day counts.
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