The Supreme Court is going to recount votes cast in the April 15 general elections amid claims of voting fraud. The court said it was doing its best to respond promptly to election fraud cases, adding that it would proceed with the trial soon. The public office election law requires the Supreme Court to make a ruling on a case that challenges an election within 180 days of it being raised and to complete this in a single trial. It has been 140 days since the elections and 125 cases have been raised so far, but there has been no recounting of votes.
Facing criticism over its late response, the Supreme Court explained that the unusually high number of election cases caused the delay. To be sure, the number of cases has risen dramatically from 13 in 2016. However, it cannot justify the significant delay in this important trial, especially considering that there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the April elections. Some ballots were found in different districts and others were leaked due to mismanagement. Some far-right groups have made claims about vote rigging, which have been disputed by the National Election Commission, all of which called for swifter responses from the Supreme Court.
The recounting of votes took 46 days, 90 days and 71 days for the 16th, 17th and 20th general elections, respectively. The Supreme Court has just announced its plan to recount votes five months after the elections, which is anything but rapid.
The law requires a single trial by the Supreme Court because “prompt action” is critical when it comes to election cases. It makes sure that as little time as possible goes to waste by streamlining the process including the recounting. The Prosecution has a short statute of limitations of six months and decides whether or not to prosecute suspects as soon as possible so that voters’ wishes expressed in the ballots are reflected. The Supreme Court is the highest court that rules on every dispute in the country, and it should live up to its reputation by responding to election cases more swiftly and responsibly and end this exhausting debate.