South Korea

Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Korea.

South Korea: Election watchdog demonstrates ballot-counting process to dispel ‘rigging’ claims | Park Han-na/Korea Times

South Korea’s election watchdog demonstrated the ballot-counting process to the public in a mock version on Thursday, intent on debunking vote-rigging allegations raised by a lawmaker who lost his seat in the April 15 parliamentary election. The National Election Commission carried out the demonstration at its headquarters in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, setting up a hypothetical situation where 1,000 out of 4,000 eligible voters cast ballots in advance polls for four constituency candidates and 35 political parties for proportional representation. The commission’s officials disassembled electronic machines used in last month’s election and explained how they work in an effort to prove the impossibility of rigging an election. One of the machines classifies ballot papers according to the choice of candidate and counts them. Another machine assesses the validity of the votes.

Full Article: Election watchdog demonstrates ballot-counting process to dispel ‘rigging’ claims.

South Korea: Democracy can be hacked | Kang Hyun-kyung/Korea Times

The Colorado secretary of state announced in September last year that the U.S. state would remove QR codes from ballots to prevent possible election meddling by outsiders.  “I am proud that Colorado continues to lead the nation in election cybersecurity,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a press release on Sept. 16. One of her duties is ensuring the integrity of elections. “Voters should have the utmost confidence that their vote will count. Removing QR codes from ballots will enable voters to see for themselves that their ballots are correct and helps guard against cyber meddling,” Griswold went on to say.  Once QR code-less ballots are introduced, votes will be tabulated using marked ovals on the ballot. In South Korea, QR codes have been at the center of a controversy following the April 15 National Assembly elections in which 300 lawmakers were elected and the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) clinched a landslide victory. The two-dimensional bar codes were used twice over the course of the election; once on ballots for early and postal voting and again on voter-completed tabulation sheets printed from counting machines. About a month has passed since the elections but some people, still scratching their heads over the results, have raised suspicions about the tabulation.

Full Article: Democracy can be hacked.

South Korea: Lesson for America: South Korea proves you can hold a democratic election despite coronavirus | Trudy Rubin/Philadelphia Inquirer

One week after the Wisconsin primary, where voters faced long lines and confusion, South Korea showed how to hold a national election in the era of COVID-19. Standing three feet apart, wearing masks, voters had their temperatures taken before entering the polls. All were given plastic gloves, and booths were repeatedly disinfected. Early voting was permitted, and those under quarantine could vote by mail or at a special time slot after polls closed. Most impressive, beyond the sheer competence of the preelection planning, was that 66.2% of the electorate voted, the most in nearly three decades. In large part, this was a tribute to the success of President Moon Jae-in’s government in curbing COVID-19, making South Korea a global model and earning Moon a landslide win. But the vote was also a tribute to South Koreans’ commitment to democracy. They were determined that the precious right to vote would not be thwarted by a virus — or by political games.

Full Article: Lesson for America: South Korea proves you can hold a democratic election despite coronavirus | Trudy Rubin.

South Korea: Coronavirus Test Run: How to Hold an Election | Andrew Jeong and Timothy W. Martin/Wall Street Journal

South Koreans streamed into polling stations wearing face masks and plastic gloves, taking part in the world’s first major national election held during the new coronavirus pandemic. Choosing its 300-seat National Assembly, South Korea’s turnout on Wednesday, coupled with record levels of early voting last week, reached about 66% of the country’s 44 million eligible voters. That was the highest since 1992, according to the country’s National Election Commission. South Korea holds legislative elections every four years. President Moon Jae-in’s governing Democratic Party acquired a majority in the vote, giving more leeway for his goals of warming ties with North Korea and boosting economic growth through higher wages rather than from tax cuts, political analysts said. The phrase “done voting” was at one point South Korea’s top-trending item on Twitter. Voters cycled in and out with waits rarely exceeding 30 minutes. A polling site in central Seoul prepared a box of extra face masks just in case—but, by late afternoon, hadn’t given out a single one as all voters there had brought their own. With dozens of countries postponing votes in recent weeks, South Korea provides some early guidance on how elections might proceed once governments see rates of new virus infections flatten and fall.

Full Article: South Korea’s Coronavirus Test Run: How to Hold an Election - WSJ.

South Korea: ​South Korea to develop blockchain voting system | ZDNet

South Korea plans to develop a blockchain voting system, with trials starting next month in the private sector. The Ministry of Science and ICT, and the National Election Commission (NEC) said they will develop a blockchain-based online voting system by December. The NEC ran an online voting system, dubbed K-voting, back in 2013, which has since been used by 5.64 million people but trust in the voting system remains low due to hacking and fraud concerns. The latest system to be developed will apply blockchain in voter authentication and result saving, which will increase transparency and security, the government said.

Full Article: ​South Korea to develop blockchain voting system | ZDNet.

South Korea: Foreign voters still get little attention | The Korea Times

With the June 13 local elections about two weeks away, some foreign residents with voting rights are still having difficulty getting information about candidates because of the language barrier. The National Election Commission (NEC) has been running an official foreign language website, but they are poorly managed with few updates; they are virtually useless for foreign voters who cannot speak Korean. From May 27 to 29, foreign residents with suffrage need to visit their local community center or government website for their city, county or district, to confirm whether they are listed as eligible voters and how to find their polling station. Foreigners who find their names missing should ask the center to include them during this period. Otherwise, they might lose the chance to vote.

Full Article: Foreign voters still get little attention.

South Korea: Lawmakers set to convene over constitutional revision | Yonhap

South Korea’s parliament is set to convene a plenary session Thursday to deal with a government-proposed constitutional revision, but opposition parties’ have threatened to boycott the session and scuttle the bill, which they claim lacks a consensus among lawmakers. … The proposal calls for changing the current five-year single-term presidency to a four-year presidency renewable once. Thursday is a deadline for parliament to vote on the bill. If the deadline is not met, it will be effectively nullified. The Constitution requires lawmakers to vote on a constitutional revision bill within 60 days of it put being on a public notice.

Full Article: Lawmakers set to convene over constitutional revision.

South Korea: Foreign voters seek more information on elections in other languages | The Korea Herald

With less than two months until the June 13 local elections, foreign residents with voting rights say they lack information on candidates. In 2005, the South Korean government revised the Immigration Control Act to allow non-Korean citizens who have held resident visas (F-5) for at least three years to vote in gubernatorial elections, so that they can claim their rights in their registered local constituencies. The number of eligible foreign voters has tripled since the law came into effect for the local and gubernatorial election in 2006, but manifestos of and information about the candidates are not provided in any other language, only in Korean.

Full Article: Foreign voters seek more information on elections in other languages.

South Korea: South Koreans Divided Over Lower Voting Age | Korea Buzwire

The debate over a lower voting age is heating up in South Korea, with the older and younger generations clashing ahead of upcoming local elections. Under current laws, South Koreans younger than 19 years of age can’t cast a vote, join a party or participate in election campaigns, while candidates have to be at least 25 years old. President Moon Jae-in proposed a constitutional reform bill last month that would lower the country’s voting age from 19 to 18 when passed. Since then, the issue of a lower voting age has dominated the political discourse, drawing both support and criticism.

Full Article: South Koreans Divided Over Lower Voting Age | Be Korea-savvy.

South Korea: Foreigners with voting rights being ignored | The Korea Times

In 2005, South Korea gave foreign permanent residents with F-5 visas the right to vote in local elections. The upcoming June 13 local elections will be the fourth time for these people to exercise their voting rights since the law revision.n However, the government and the National Election Commission (NEC) are still failing to provide candidate information in other languages, virtually violating the voting rights of foreigners who cannot speak Korean, multiple sources claimed Monday.

Full Article: Foreigners with voting rights being ignored.

South Korea: Election panel attacks DR Congo voting system | AFP

South Korea’s election panel has refused to back touchscreen voting provided by a Korean firm for vital elections in DR Congo, saying the system is badly suited for the country’s needs. A long-delayed presidential poll is due to take place in the volatile country in December, and mounting tensions have prompted fears of bloodshed. A key factor in the crisis is the perceived credibility of the vote, and a South Korean company, Miru Systems Co. Ltd., is under scrutiny for a contract to provide touchscreen voting machines. In a statement, South Korea’s National Election Commission (NEC) said it was offering “no support or guarantee” for the system being provided for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Full Article: S. Korea election panel attacks DR Congo voting system.

South Korea: Lowering age to vote becomes hot political issue | The Korea Times

When you are an 18-year-old citizen in Korea, you can marry, obtain a driver’s license and become a public servant once passing the required state exam. You are also obliged to pay taxes on any income, and serve in the military if you are a man. But there’s one thing you cannot do ― vote. In Korea, 19 is the age when suffrage is given to vote for president, lawmakers, mayors, governors and other elected officials. For decades, there have been calls to lower the age to 18 to meet the age for other social rights and duties. The issue has re-emerged recently after President Moon Jae-in said he plans to include lowing the age of suffrage to 18 in his suggestions for constitutional revision. It has immediately drawn pros and cons, from both the civic and political sectors.

Full Article: Lowering age to vote becomes hot political issue.

South Korea: Ex-spy chief sentenced to 4 years in jail for election meddling | Korea Times

A Seoul court sentenced a former spy agency chief to four years in prison Wednesday, finding him guilty of meddling in the 2012 presidential election through a covert cyber operation. The Seoul High Court handed down the verdict to Won Sei-hoon, who headed the National Intelligence Agency (NIS) from 2009 to 2013, more than two years after the top court sent the case back to the lower court for retrial, citing insufficient evidence. Won was put behind bars immediately after the ruling. He was on trial without detention.

Full Article: Ex-spy chief sentenced to 4 years in jail for election meddling.

South Korea: Moon Pledges Unity From Election Win After South Korean Turmoil | Bloomberg

South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in pledged to unify the nation after nine years of conservative rule that culminated in the country’s biggest street protests since the 1980s and the impeachment of his predecessor. “This is really a victory for the people who did their utmost to make a country for justice, unity, principles and common sense,” Moon told supporters in Seoul. “I’ll become the president for everyone. A president who serves even those who didn’t support me.” The final tally showed Moon received 41.08 percent of votes, while conservative Hong Joon-pyo got 24.03 percent. Centrist Ahn Cheol-soo came third with 21.41 percent. 

Full Article: Moon Pledges Unity From Election Win After South Korean Turmoil - Bloomberg.

South Korea: South Korea faces a pivotal vote | Deutsche Welle

South Koreans are taking Tuesday’s presidential election seriously. Estimates suggest that the voter turnout is likely to be as high as over 90 percent. Over 11 million people – or more than 26 percent of the nation’s 42.5 million registered voters – have already cast their ballots in early voting, according to local media. This year is the first time early voting has been available in a presidential election. South Koreans are voting for a replacement for former President Park Geun-hye, who was recently ousted from office on account of a high-profile corruption scandal. Park was subsequently charged with bribery, coercion, abuse of power and leaking state secrets.

Full Article: South Korea faces a pivotal vote | Asia | DW.COM | 08.05.2017.

South Korea: Voters swamp ballot booths as early voting in presidential election kicks off | The Straits Times

Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans flocked to polling stations across the nation on Thursday (May 4) to choose their next president, two months after the previous one was ousted from office in disgrace and amid regional tension over a belligerent North Korea. Instead of voting on the scheduled election day of Tuesday (May 9), many chose to cast ballots earlier as they have to work or have other plans, such as a trip to vacation hot spots. Some 3,500 polling stations are open across the nation from 6am to 6pm from Thursday to Friday.

Full Article: South Koreans swamp ballot booths as early voting in presidential election kicks off, East Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times.

South Korea: Record number of overseas Koreans cast ballots in presidential election | Korea World

A record number of overseas South Koreans have cast ballots in early overseas voting for the country’s upcoming presidential election, the election watchdog said Monday. A total of 221,981 overseas voters cast ballots over a six-day voting period that ended Sunday, according to the National Election Commission. There are about 1.97 million South Korean nationals who are staying overseas and are eligible to take part in the presidential election slated to be held next Tuesday. 

Full Article: Record number of overseas Koreans cast ballots in presidential election.

South Korea: Voters swamped by fake news reports on social media | Korea JoongAng Daily

Ahead of the next month’s presidential election, Korean voters are deluged with fake news on major social media platforms, and the national election watchdog has so far cracked down on more than 30,000 cases of disinformation. The JoongAng Ilbo obtained a report on Wednesday from the National Election Commission’s Electoral Cyber Crime Center regarding its crackdowns on illegal internet postings concerning the 19th presidential election on May 9. The commission so far detected 31,004 fake news postings as of Tuesday. It is already 4.3 times higher than the total number of fake news stories shut down during the 2012 presidential election. Of the 31,004 postings, 20,104 contained fake news and false information, while 9,327 were announcements of illegal surveys. Another 762 contained slander against candidates and 375 were postings containing insults toward specific regions. The National Election Commission deleted the postings after its crackdowns.

Full Article: Korean voters swamped by fake news reports on social media-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily.

South Korea: Court upholds Park’s impeachment, triggering election | Bloomberg & AP

In a historic, unanimous ruling Friday, South Korea’s constitutional Court formally removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office over a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into political turmoil, worsened an already-serious national divide and prompted calls for sweeping reforms. It was a stunning fall for Park, the country’s first female leader and the daughter of a dictator who rode a lingering conservative nostalgia for her father to victory in 2012, only to see her presidency descend into scandal. The ruling by the eight-member panel opens her up to possible criminal proceedings, and makes her South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be removed from office since democracy came in the country in the late 1980s.

Full Article: South Korean court upholds Park’s impeachment, triggering election | Toronto Star.

South Korea: Teens Call for Voting Rights | NHK

The political scandal that led to the suspension of President Park Gyun-hye is boosting political engagement among younger South Koreans, who are calling for voting rights. Many high school students throughout the country are politically energized these days, and they want more of a say. “We want to elect the country’s leader ourselves in order to create a better society for us all,” says a student at one protest. The corruption scandal involving the president and her long-time friend Choi Soon-sil has kept Boo Seok-woo busy with a youth group that’s engaged in social issues.

Full Article: South Korean Teens Call for Voting Rights - Editor's Picks - News - NHK WORLD - English.