Early Wednesday, South Koreans began voting for their next president, with the two top contenders, liberal Lee Jae-myung and conservative Yoon Suk-yeol, locked in a tight race.
Election day is a national holiday in the 44 million-strong country, with voting stations open from 6 a.m. (2100 GMT) until 6 p.m.
After the polls close, Covid positive voters will have an additional 90 minutes to cast their ballots.
After a campaign marked by insults between Lee of the ruling Democratic Party and Yoon of the opposition People Power Party, the record early voting indicates that turnout will be high.
The first voters arrived at the polling stations while it was still dark, lining up at the polling stations wearing their masks.
South Korea is experiencing an outbreak of Omicron Covid, with over 200,000 new cases reported every day this month.
According to health officials, more than a million people are presently sequestered at home after testing positive. Last month, the country altered its election laws to allow them to vote.
Last week, a record 37 percent of the 44 million eligible voters cast ballots in a two-day early voting exercise, the greatest amount since the system was implemented in 2013.
According to polls, the electorate’s top worries include surging property prices in Seoul, expanding domestic inequality, and persistent youth unemployment.