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To Create Clean Election Culture Is Our Business

Posted December. 19, 2002 22:52,   


Ordinary people who work hard even when others do not watch them made this presidential election a success. Tens of thousands of volunteers and election workers are those who played an important role in this election. Here let’s hear the stories of three people who did their best to create a mature election culture.

Im Jong-seop of Dongjackgu, Seoul, 51, worked as a volunteer to supervise the election activities using his own money on meals and transportation.

Whenever he heard that there would be a meeting related to the election from his neighbors, he went to the scene with other volunteers. They did in order to set a watch on any possible illegal election campaigns and wage a campaign to encourage citizens to participate in the polls.

As the Election Day came near, he worked on the lookout activities around the clock.

Im, who made a society for fair election in his neighborhood, and engaged in the election watchdog activities for 4 years, said, "As more citizens work as election supervisors, elections are held in a more clean way, and as a result, we are likely to get a gift, "better politics."

Seo Hui-gyeong, 29, a female senior member of the civic group Citizens’ coalition for fair election movement has campaigned in the streets for the past two months asking for participation in the voting. Even when the temperature went down below zero centigrade and her hands and feet were frozen, she did not fail to take part in the street campaigns, which were held every other day.

She did not sleep well to come up with ideas to win over voters and prepare small pieces to attract attention of voters in the streets.

In particular, she worked on bringing the homeless to the polling stations. For the homeless, who have to worry about meals every day, casting a vote seems none of their business.

However, many homeless people promised to cast their ballot on the Election Day recollecting when they were well off, being persuaded by Ms. Seo. About 100 homeless people applied for absentee voting across the nation. She said, "Though the number is not so high, it is significant in that some people have a sense of belonging in society and have hopes to survive their difficulties.

Kwon Seon-young, 32, a squad leader of the cyber terrorism countermeasure center at the Korean National Police Agency, has led a busy life for the past two months in unveiling illegal election campaigns in the cyber world.

Kwon worked at his two computers in the office. He picked out mud-slinging cases surfing the Internet. As the election campaign entered the last phase, defamation and mudslinging cases increased a lot. Once he identified 40 such cases a day. He should also investigate illegal campaign cases commissioned by the National Election Commission. So he worked from 5:00 am to midnight.

He said showing some regret, "Though I worked so much time, it seemed not enough. I should have done the job more strictly…"

Those who contributed a lot to the 2002 election all said, "We will continue our efforts in the next election to create a clean election culture."

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com