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Fukushima Votes in First Local Election Since Nuclear Disaster

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Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Residents of Fukushima prefecture, where Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plants stand, began casting ballots today for its first local election since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami delayed the polls.

In Fukushima, where 150,000 still live in shelters or temporary housing according to public broadcaster NHK, 10 prefectural and mayoral assembly elections are being held today, including an assembly election for Futaba City, home to the damaged nuclear power plants.

After a seven month delay, elections are being held at makeshift voting stations across the country to include the votes of residents who have evacuated from the prefecture, according to NHK. Fukushima’s Futaba City set up a voting station in Kazo City, Saitama, as 6,400 residents fled the city, according to NHK.

Eleven cities and villages in Fukushima have been designated as evacuation zones on radiation levels exceeding safety limits, according to NHK. Polls are scheduled to close at 8 p.m. today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Mukai in Tokyo at amukai1@bloomberg.net

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