Go to contents

Touch-Screen Electronic Voting System to be Introduced in 18th General Election

Touch-Screen Electronic Voting System to be Introduced in 18th General Election

Posted January. 17, 2005 22:35,   


An electronic voting system using the touch-screen method on the computer screen will be introduced starting with the 18th National Assembly election in 2008. Accordingly, voters may cast their ballots anywhere within the country as well as within their residential area.

The National Election Commission (NEC, chairman: Yoo Ji-dam) held a meeting on Monday, January 17 and decided on the introduction of electronic voting. After taking step-by-step trials starting in the second half of this year, the 18th National Assembly election will be the first to use the current paper voting system along with electronic voting.

In electronic voting, a candidate is chosen by using a computer touch-screen instead of using a marking tool to fill in a ballot. The voter inserts a smart card issued by the NEC into the electronic voting machine and chooses the candidate in his/her electoral district shown on the screen.

Also, in the electronic voting system, the pollbook is shared throughout the entire country’s network. If the computer is loaded into an automobile and transported to a place where the voters wish it to be, voting can be done anywhere throughout the country.

The NEC plans to introduce the internet voting system for voters who have difficulty moving and overseas residents starting with the 18th National Assembly election, and establish a ubiquitous electronic voting system where voting can be done by personal computer, PDA (personal digital assistant), cell phone, and mobile poll booth cars starting with the 19th National Assembly election in 2012.

The NEC is positively considering a pre-poll voting system that would let voters cast ballots before election day, and it is forecasted that the voting rate for the 18th general election will highly increase.

However, some are pointing out the possibilities of hacking to forge results and that the secret ballot principle may be disrupted, and so considerable controversy is expected until the system`s final introduction.

Foreign countries such as the U.S., Britain, Japan, and Brazil have partially introduced electronic voting systems.

Min-Hyuk Park mhpark@donga.com