National / Politics

Record 17 million voters cast ballots early for Upper House election

JIJI

The number of people who cast their ballots for Sunday’s House of Councillors poll under the country’s early-voting system totaled 17,062,771 — a record high for an Upper House election, the internal affairs ministry said.

The number of early voters in the 16-day period from July 5, the day after the official campaign period for the election began, to Saturday, the final campaigning day, was up 6.79 percent from the figure for the previous Upper House election in 2016, the ministry said.

Of the country’s 47 prefectures, 42, excluding Aomori, Toyama, Nagano, Tokushima and Oita, logged increases in early-voting numbers.

The growth is believed to have been a result of an increase in the number of polling stations by some 400.