Japanese Voters Head to Polls to Boot Leaders

Half century of power expected to end today
By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2009 5:28 AM CDT
A woman casts her vote in Japan's parliamentary elections at a polling station in Tokyo, Japan, today.   (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa)
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(Newser) – Japanese voters began casting ballots today in a general election expected to clean house, reports the Financial Times. The Democratic Party of Japan will almost certainly thump the Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled the nation 11 months out of the last 54 years.

Voters get two votes in Japan: one for a candidate vying for the 300 individual open posts, and one for a political party that will help fill another 180 seats. Polls suggest the DPJ could pick up at least 300 seats. If the party is able to capture 320 or more, it will have the two-thirds majority needed to pass legislation without consensus.