With a perfect 100 percent voter turnout in his district, Kim Jong-un was 'elected' as North Korea's supreme leader after also grabbing 100 percent of the vote. The news, straight from the government that oversaw the election, wasn't a surprise to Kim, or the rest of the world, as he was the only name on the ballot. "Voters in the election have no choice who to vote for — there is only one candidate's name on the ballot for each district. Instead, they have the choice of voting yes or no, and according to official accounts virtually all choose yes," the AP reports.
When faced with the prospect of gulags or punishment from a guy who has no problem killing off his own uncle, it's hard to see why anyone would want to vote no. Nevertheless, the state-run media is running with it as outpouring of love and devotion their young ruler. "This is an expression of all the service personnel and people's absolute support and profound trust in supreme leader Kim Jong Un as they single-mindedly remain loyal to him," the Korean Central News Agency reported.
But even if these "elections" are pointless, they do serve a purpose for the North Korean regime. It allows them to keep tabs on the country and its citizens. The election "is also used as an unofficial census, allowing the government to check on the whereabouts of its citizens. Defectors say that some North Koreans return to the country for the election to avoid the state learning of their absence," the Wall Street Journal reports.
North Korea's elections take place every five years.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.