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.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Korea.
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’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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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’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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The voting age is likely to be lowered to 18 for the 2017 presidential election. The New Conservative Party for Reform (NCPR), created by lawmakers who left the Saenuri Party, said Wednesday that it will seek to lower the voting age from 19 to 18 and apply it to the next election. With all three opposition parties supporting an increase in the number of eligible voters, there is a high possibility that the Election Law could be revised during an extraordinary session of the National Assembly in January. If revised, those who are 18, currently high school students, will be able to vote in the presidential election, which could take place earlier than scheduled.Full Article: Voting age likely to be lowered to 18.
“We shall lower the voting age to 18 before the next presidential election. Among OECD member states, Korea is the only nation stipulating voting rights at 19,” floor leader Rep. Woo Sang-ho said in a party meeting. The liberal party, the largest in South Korea’s unicameral parliament controlling 128 of the 300 seats, will push to revise the election law to lower the age limit and grant voting rights to compatriots living overseas, he said. Currently, 33 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development grant suffrage to those 18 years and older, with Austria at the age of 16.Full Article: Opposition party pushes to lower voting age to 18.
While lawyers desperately tried to restore the impeached South Korean president’s powers, politics advanced without her Tuesday as parties and potential candidates postured for elections that could take place in just months. Dozens of lawmakers split from the conservative ruling party and likely will try to create a party fielding outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as its presidential candidate. Ban’s potential rivals reacted by questioning his presidential credentials and touting their own ideas, including significant policy changes in regard with relations with nuclear-armed North Korea and allies United States and Japan.Full Article: South Korean ruling party splits over impeached president - The Washington Post.
South Korea’s ruling conservative party suffered an unexpected defeat in a parliamentary election on Wednesday, local media said early on Thursday, based on election commission data, in a stinging blow to president Park Geun-hye. The loss by Park’s Saenuri party, which had been expected to regain a majority, will mean her government will face more deadlock in the national assembly as she tries to push through her legislative agenda to boost a sluggish economy. The defeat is also likely to dent prospects for the party to field a winning candidate in the presidential vote scheduled late next year to succeed Park for a single five-year term.Full Article: South Korea elections: ruling conservative party loses majority | World news | The Guardian.