Elections in North Korea are held every five years for the national legislature and every four years for local assemblies.
Unlike other democratic nations, the turnout in these elections is almost 100 percent – meaning every citizen who is eligible to vote turns up to vote. Not only do they all cast votes, the North Koreans even “dance and sing” their way to the polling stations, where they usually vote in favor of status quo.
And that’s not even the most interesting bit.
Apparently, the citizens of the hermit kingdom have the liberty to choose their preferred candidate from only one option on the ballot.
Yes, you read that right.
The selected pool of candidates is limited to only one person.
In case a voter wants to vote against the chosen one, they must do so by crossing out the name in a special booth, in front of the local authorities.
As Kim Jong-un rallies an enormous army for the parade celebrating the North Korean dynasty’s 70th anniversary, a Redditor drew the Internet’s attention to this gem of knowledge, causing an immediate outbreak of comments on the website.
All the ridiculousness aside, the vote actually serves practical purposes.
First, voting is mandatory. Forcing 100% of eligible North Koreans to vote every five years is a way for the government to keep tabs on the population. In fact, North Korean defectors have reported that voting acts as an informal census, where neighborhood committees closely monitor the people who show up to cast ballots and the ones who don’t – which means it’s also an effective way to weed out potential defectors.
So it’s kind of a win-win situation for the North Korean regime – and that’s exactly the whole point of it.