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.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Korea.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.