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Synopses

     The April 15, 2020 South Korean national elections to select the National Assembly members resulted in an overwhelming victory for the Minjoo Party and the sitting President, Moon Jae-in. This overwhelming victory surprised many observers and drew immediate charges of election fraud from concerned South Korean citizens. Generally, South Korean elections get very little attention from the United States public and media, but this election should alarm the American public and elected officials alike as, from a certain perspective, the ROK-US alliance itself is at risk.

    More than 137 lawsuits have been filed, covering nearly half of the voting districts, and are contesting the election results. With election fraud allegations usually eliciting skepticism, this past South Korean election should be looked at as a possible exception to that norm. Evidence of electoral irregularities uncovered largely by private citizens raised a number of suspicions, including: digital/electronic manipulation of the voting process, counterfeit ballots, corrupted QR codes, ballot ‘chain of custody’ issues, Chinese meddling, and manipulation of the ‘early vote’ process.

    Beyond the issue of potential electoral fraud, the ROK-US alliance has been put in an uncertain situation. Beijing’s possible involvement in the alleged electoral process manipulations suggests a motivation to split the South Korea-US alliance—and wants to ultimately remove US forces from the Korean peninsula. This, according to some observers, aligns with President Moon’s and his close advisor’s reputed objective of replacing South Korea’s long-term alliance with the United States with a close relationship with China. The April 15th election outcome – giving the incumbent party the ability to enact any legislation desired and to potentially change the constitution, can be viewed as a step toward Moon’s and China’s ultimate objectives. And if done right, obtain political control for the foreseeable future.

    This report describes a comprehensive, citizen-based effort to collect and present evidence of electoral irregularities that possibly demonstrate election fraud deserves to be taken seriously, and to be further examined.

     This paper by South Korean attorney Doe Tae Woo begins with an international plea highlighting the election fraud that allegedly occurred in South Korea during the April 15, 2020 general elections. Attorney Doe is part of the legal advocacy group representing the Hon. Kyung-wook Min, the former National Assemblyman of the United Future Party (the Korean Conservatives), that is endeavoring to inform the international community of irregularities in the South Korean election held on April 15, 2020, to include technological manipulation. Such actions, the paper argues, amount to a blow to South Korea and 72-years of freedom and democracy on the Korean peninsula.

    Following on a condensed summary of the history of South Korea and its maturing into a functioning democracy – albeit with a number of internal political challenges – Attorney Doe lists nine points of irregularities that suggest electoral fraud. One such point is found in the section: “Circumstantial Evidence of Fabrication: How an electoral system is vulnerable to large-scale digital manipulation.” This section describes the particular vulnerabilities of South Korea’s Early Voting system that has expanded from a relatively small-scale operation to assist a relatively small number of voters who are unable to vote in-person on Election Day. The Early System has expanded to the point it is available to all voters, and this paper argues lacks adequate security measures to ensure sanctity of this portion of the voting process.

     The paper closes out with a discussion of the obstacles and roadblocks that have hindered a proper investigation into the alleged irregularities, to include judicial delay in hearing the unprecedented number of lawsuits claiming electoral wrongdoing. Attorney Doe declares that owing to substantial evidence of electoral wrongdoing (to include possible foreign involvement) intended to manipulate the election outcome, there is a clear need for a neutral and international examination into the South Korean electoral process – even if there is domestic political opposition to such outside observation.

     Attorney Park’s paper offers a detailed assessment of clear and large-scale irregularities involving ‘mail-in’ votes cast during the South Korean election’s two-days of ‘early voting. Attorney Park’s research highlights the importance of exposing the vulnerability and danger posed by the existing scheme for handling ‘mail-in’ ballots. According to Attorney Park’s assessment, upwards of 1 million votes cast in the April 15th, 2020 election were of questionable provenance and potentially fraudulent.

    The paper also lays out allegations of efforts by the incumbent Moon administration to interfere with the electoral process by clamping down on dissent and muzzling freedom of speech of South Korean citizens, and also using the COVID-19 pandemic as cover for such efforts. Attorney Park also addresses in some detail allegations of foreign (Chinese) manipulation and interference in the South Korean general election held on April 15, 2020, to include allegations of vulnerable Chinese-made technology in the South Korean election network, and allegedly introduced and utilized without proper oversight or transparency.

    The paper concludes by highlighting the efforts of South Korean citizens to expose and seek redress for alleged election fraud. The activities of a citizens group led by former National Assemblyman Min Kyung-Wook, get particular notice, as do claims that the incumbent Moon Jae-in administration is attempting to hinder and block such effort of citizens seeking to raise alleged electoral irregularities to public examination.

    As a final plea, Attorney Park requests the international community to help address the irregularities exposed during the April 15, 2020 national assembly election.

 

     This paper covers the topic of digital electoral fraud (so-called ‘digital Gerrymandering’) that the author alleges took place in the 21st General Election in South Korea. The paper begins by introducing the April 15, 2020 general election held in South Korea. The author states up front that the purpose of the report is to “prove that the data for the South Korean 21st General Election was digitally manipulated” and that he concluded that statistical examination of the election results clearly points to manipulation.

    The report notes that in order to account for data irregularities and claims of fraud, previous studies have focused on the physical aspects of election fraud (ballot box stuffing, shredded ballots, Chinese-made Huawei communications technology found in the electronic election systems and so on). But as noted, Mr. Roy Kim addresses data irregularities, and specifically cites the pioneering work by the University of Michigan professor, Dr. Walter Mebane. Mr. Kim’s ‘digital Gerrymandering’ hypothesis is a new approach and specifically examines election day and early voting results from South Korea’s 20th and 21st General Elections.

    The paper lists six methodologies and detailed background information, supplemented with graphs and illustrations, to explain the ‘digital Gerrymandering’ voting hypothesis alleged to have been reflected in the April 15, 2020 general election. This includes: data graph analysis and a histogram; Calculate Total Shift Value (Target number of seats); simulation data; the least square method for actual shift value (reconciled data); Control Invalid vote; and finally, ASCII Code. According to the author, these new digital methods of fraud are nearly impossible to detect and are only exposed when the voting results are assessed as explained above.

    Mr. Kim lays out his case that ‘digital manipulation’ was perpetrated in the most recent South Korean election to alter the results of the election. Importantly, he has put his assessment in the public domain where it can be examined and further assessed.

     This paper written by Park Sung Hyun, Honorary Statistics Professor, Seoul National University, and Dean of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, discusses various voting irregularities and evidence of statistical anomalies in the April 15, 2020 election. Professor Park particularly examines voter demographics and voter constituencies while comparing pre-voting (early voting) and on-site (election day) voting. According to the South Korean National Election Commission (NEC), over 11.74 million of the total 43.90 million South Korean voters participated in early voting in the past general election on April 15th, an extremely high rate of 26.7%. When observing the voting rates between the incumbent Democratic Party of Korea and the main opposition United Future Party, there is a big – and strangely consistent – difference in early-voting and on-site voting results in all 253 constituencies in South Korea. In all constituencies, the Democratic Party received an average of 10.7% less votes during on-site voting than during pre- or early-voting. The UFP received an average of 11.1% more votes during on-site voting than during pre- or early-voting.

    It is possible to think that many more young people (who generally tend towards the Democratic Party) participated in the pre-voting and thus skewed the results heavily in the Democratic Party’s favor. However, official figures for the ratio of voters by age indicates that the elderly population (over 50) also voted in high numbers during pre- or early-voting. This elderly cohort tends to support the United Front Party.

    Also, in the case of South Korea’s capital, Seoul, all forty-nine constituencies each have their own candidates that they prefer to support – from both parties. So, it is common for the candidate support rates to different considerably from constituency to constituency. However, the fact that the percentages of pre-votes and on-site (election day) votes are nearly the same in all constituencies is a phenomenon so strange, according to Professor Park, that it is statistically difficult to comprehend. This paper reaches the conclusion that the hypothesis that Democratic supporters flocked to the pre-elections by the mass is not statistically proven to be true, and that the election outcome itself is hard to understand from a statistical analysis standpoint.

     The April 15th, 2020 general election in South Korea was not without controversy. In this paper, Dr. Mebane examines data from the election using eforensics, tests from the Election Forensics Toolkit (EFT), which is a website developed as part of a USAID-funded project, and the spikes test to determine whether fraudulent votes occurred that may have changed the election outcome. This paper also improves on a previous version with updated information provided by South Korean informants, such as the corrected dataset that includes 50 previously omitted independent candidates.

    Dr. Mebane presents evidence and findings that when taken together, the eforensics estimates, EFT and spikes tests exhibit anomalies that strongly suggest the South Korean April 2020 general election SMD data were fraudulently manipulated. Estimates using 2016 SMD data show eforensics estimate frauds that resemble results seen in many other elections and are likely due to normal political considerations.

    It is important to keep in mind that “frauds” according to the eforensics model may or may not be results of malfeasance and bad actions. How much of estimated “frauds” may be produced by normal political activity, and in particular by strategic behavior (such as one party successfully drawing its supporters out for early voting in usually large numbers), is an open question that is the focus of current research.

    Statistical findings such as reported in Professor Mebane’s report are, of course, just one indicator of potential electoral irregularities. But they do suggest that further inquiry and investigation into the election and the electoral process is warranted in order to resolve the anomalies.

     Numerous subject matter experts have investigated the issue of the ballot sorting machines that were used for the April 15th South Korean general election, and some of them have concluded that there were vulnerabilities and irregularities with the ballot sorters. Notably, the experts have not been allowed to conduct detailed or forensic examinations of the ballot sorting machines. This lack of transparency on the part of electoral officials has raised suspicions regarding the results of South Korea’s 21st general election.

    Mr. Benjamin Wilkerson is one of the aforementioned experts. He was able to examine a ballot machine in enough detail to raise concerns over the capabilities of the ballot sorting machines.

    Mr. Wilkerson’s detailed report describes three major issues with the ballot sorters used in the April 15th election: First, Article 5 of the Supplementary Provision of the Public Official Election Law states that the ballot sorter should be a simple sorter and operate as a stand-alone without being connected to any other external devices. However, the ballot sorter used has five built-in USB ports which make it possible to send the internal data to the outside and to receive and store/implement firmware or data from the outside.

    Second, the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) was used as a H/W component, and this means that the firmware can be changed at any time to perform certain tasks.

    Third, QR codes were used in violation of the existing election law, which states that only barcodes can be used on the ballot paper. Furthermore, the ballot sorter was designed to read and decipher even confidential information that may not be read by an ordinary QR code reader.

    The technical issues discovered with the ballot sorting machines used in the general election are problematic, according to Mr. Wilkerson. As configured, tampering and manipulation of the machines was possible. And the suspicions of such activity alone call into question the integrity of the entire 21st South Korean general election.

     A ballot paper sorting machine, which is an electronic ballot counting machine, was used in the April 15th general election in South Korea. The ballot paper sorter system is composed of a sorter, a control computer, and a printer. A number of problems have been reported related to this type of system. Among these problems are alleged vulnerabilities owing to the specific chipsets that are integrated inside the electronic ballot counting machine, and a communication device that connects externally. Also, in a certain district during the April 15, 2020 election, a computer showed evidence of malfunction.

    Also, Korean-made ballot counting machines have a certain reputation owing their use overseas in elections that have been marred by claims of electoral irregularities.

    To address such concerns that raised doubts about the South Korean electoral process, the National Election Commission (NEC) held a press conference on May 28, 2020. Although the National Election Commission made an effort to explain the system that includes the ballot sorter, the control computer, and the attached printer, some observers claimed the event was staged for the media – rather than an effort for real transparency.

    This paper closely examines the varied issues of concerns with the ballot paper sorting machines, to include the potential for manipulation and other questionable performance during the April 15, 2020 election that would raise concerns over the election outcome and the electoral process.

    The completion of this paper is owing to the efforts and invaluable expertise of Min Kyung-wook, Seok Dong-hyun, Professor Park Young-ah, Professor Park Sung-hyun, General Kim Hyung-cheol, Park Sung-hyun (Co-President of the Free Citizens Alliance), Kim Miyoung, Professor Jo Sung Hwan, Dr. Maeng Joo-sung, Park Ju-hyun, Benjamin Wilkerson, Kim Jung-hyun, Professor Yong-sik Lee, Doe Tae-woo, former Ambassador Byung-hwa Lee, Jang Young-hu and Kim Eun-koo. These experts conducted in-depth research and amassed compelling evidence. They graciously presented their findings regarding South Korea's April 15, 2020 general election at the KCPAC 2020 meeting in Seoul, South Korea in August 2020.

     South Korea’s electoral system allows for ‘early voting’ on two days starting five days before the actual ‘election day.’ Complaints were raised during the April 15th, 2020 election over the fact that QR codes were affixed to ‘early voting’ ballots. Besides arguments that the use of QR codes on ballots is illegal under South Korean law, suspicions were further raised owing to the fact the QR Codes were only attached to ‘early voting’ ballots – and not to ‘election day’ ballots.

    The Central Election Management Commission (CEMC) used QR codes on early voting papers instead of barcodes prescribed by the Public Official Election Act, which mandates the use of barcodes on early voting ballots in elections. QR codes and barcodes are similar, yet very different. However, the crucial difference between the two is the amount of information stored. QR code refers to a code in the form of a matrix that represents information in a patterned pattern while barcode is collectively referred to as the medium for visual recognition using various patterns and colors, including one-dimensional barcodes.

     This paper closely examines the risks of QR codes in early voting and provides a detailed review of each defined and associated risk, and the types of manipulations that can occur in ballot counting.

    By allegedly illegally incorporating the use of QR codes in the South Korean general election, the constitutional principle of secret voting was potentially violated. Also, it is alleged that privacy rights to individuals’ personal information were also infringed upon.

    This paper argues that given the illegality of using a QR code with early voting ballots, a more thorough examination of the issue is required. The author also calls for broader investigations into the South Korean electoral system owing to suspicions and allegations of Chinese interference in the electoral process – to include electronic manipulation.

    The completion of this paper is owing to the efforts and invaluable expertise of Min Kyung-wook, Seok Dong-hyun, Professor Park Young-ah, Professor Park Sung-hyun, General Kim Hyung-cheol, Park Sung-hyun (Co-President of the Free Citizens Alliance), Kim Miyoung, Professor Jo Sung Hwan, Dr. Maeng Joo-sung, Park Ju-hyun, Benjamin Wilkerson, Kim Jung-hyun, Professor Yong-sik Lee, Doe Tae-woo, former Ambassador Byung-hwa Lee, Jang Young-hu and Kim Eun-koo. These experts conducted in-depth research and amassed compelling evidence. They graciously presented their findings regarding South Korea's April 15, 2020 general election at the KCPAC 2020 meeting in Seoul, South Korea in August 2020.

     The early voting system in South Korea was originally developed to help absentee voters and other citizens unable to vote in person to cast their votes. However, the system has expanded, some would say it has been abused, to the point nearly every citizen can participate in ‘early voting’ and according to critics, the opportunities for electoral fraud have also been expanded as well. Such fraud is alleged to have occurred during the April 15, 2020 election.

    Early voting is a system whereby a voter can vote during the early voting period without going through a separate pre-registration or notification process. A voter just has to appear at one of the early voting locations throughout South Korea.

    There are two different classifications for early voting: inside-jurisdiction voting and outside-jurisdiction voting. Inside-jurisdiction voting is for voters who have their residence address in the relevant ‘gu’, ‘shi’, or ‘gun’ voting district where they are voting. Outside-jurisdiction voting is for voters who have addresses outside the voting district where the polling place is
located. However, there are many loopholes in the outside-jurisdiction early voting system.

    This paper examines the problems of early voting by focusing on the issues of 1) the early voting ballot “paper” – which is materially different than ‘election day’ ballots owing to a QR code being affixed to the early voting ballot; 2) the problems raised by difference between inside-jurisdiction and outside-jurisdiction voting; 3) the actual ‘management’ of the early voting system. Upon examining each point in detail, the paper examines the possible scenarios of how various potential manipulation of the voting process could have occurred. It also discusses how alleged destruction of evidence occurred to conceal evidence of electoral improprieties.

    The completion of this paper is owing to the efforts and invaluable expertise of Min Kyung-wook, Seok Dong-hyun, Professor Park Young-ah, Professor Park Sung-hyun, General Kim Hyung-cheol, Park Sung-hyun (Co-President of the Free Citizens Alliance), Kim Miyoung, Professor Jo Sung Hwan, Dr. Maeng Joo-sung, Park Ju-hyun, Benjamin Wilkerson, Kim Jung-hyun, Professor Yong-sik Lee, Doe Tae-woo, former Ambassador Byung-hwa Lee, Jang Young-hu and Kim Eun-koo. These experts conducted in-depth research and amassed compelling evidence. They graciously presented their findings regarding South Korea's April 15, 2020 general election at the KCPAC 2020 meeting in Seoul, South Korea in August 2020.

In South Korea’s last general election held on April 15th, 2020, the incumbent Democrat Party won 163 seats and the United Future Party won 84 seats out of the 300 seats in the National Assembly. Many lawsuits have been filed claiming election mismanagement and other improprieties in the electoral process owing to acts or omissions on the part of the National Election Commission (NEC). The South Korean system of ‘early voting’ has also been challenged as being unconstitutional.

Legal process is the method for challenging the electoral process and electoral results in South Korea. In this way, election lawsuits are divided into two categories: (1) an election invalidity lawsuit (challenging the entire election) and (2) ‘election win invalidity’ lawsuit (challenging the outcome of a specific electoral district).

Both lawsuits must be filed with the Supreme Court within one month after the election. Following the April 15th, 2020 election, a record high of 137 election invalidation lawsuits have been filed. This compares to the single case filed after the 1992 South Korean election that led to a recount of votes that confirmed errors in the vote counting process.

This paper outlines South Korea’s electoral litigation system, the present status of the ongoing litigation process, and the call for a recount of votes based on serious misconduct centered on the early voting part of the electoral process. In particular, allegations have been made claiming a sophisticated effort to manipulate ballot counting equipment.

Of particular note, the South Korean Supreme Court's response to the many cases is delayed compared to its prompt handling of past cases. At the time this report was written, the author stated that it was too early to determine the reason for the delays. However, he noted that it judicial responses were not made by September 2020, it would be prudent to question whether political considerations and a desire to prevent exposure of illegal activities were the reason for the delay in handling electoral challenge cases.

     This complaint alleging electoral misconduct in the April 15, 2020 election was filed with the South Korean Supreme Court by plaintiff Min Kyung Wook, candidate of the United Future Party in the Yeonsu-gu district. The defendants are Kwon Soon Il, Chairman of the National Election Commission, and Seo Bomin, Chairman of the Election Commission of Yeonsu-gu, Incheon. The relief sought is to invalidate the results of the 21st National Assembly election for the district of Yeonsu-gu, Incheon City.

The complaint alleges the electoral process was fatally flawed and cites violations of the Public Official Election Act that include: 1) irregularities involving the ballot counting machines used in the election; 2) illegal use of QR codes in the voting process; 3) use of invalid ballot papers; 4) other specific violations as described in the lawsuit.

Plaintiff argues that the Defendants are responsible, either by negligence or intentional acts for the aforementioned irregularities that tainted the April 15th, 2020 election. It is argued that the alleged misconduct poses a risk to South Korea’s democratic electoral system both now and into the future.

This document is a court filing submitted by the attorneys for former National Assemblyman, MIN Kyung Wook, to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Korea, regarding the ‘Invalidation lawsuit against the general election’ of April 15, 2020.

The detailed document is alleging instances of electoral fraud that was perpetrated in the South Korean general election. It includes diagrams, pictures, and graphs to help the court (and the reader) to more clearly understand the arguments and the substance of the alleged election fraud.

Among the claims presented is evidence of fraudulently created votes that impacted the outcome of the election – and mandates a proper investigation of allegations concerning voting procedures and election results

The filing goes on outline other instances of alleged fraud, to include claims of electronic manipulation of the electoral process. The plaintiff seeks a proper forensic examination of image files, electronic counting machines, software, and other parts of the ‘electronic’ infrastructure used in the April 15th, 2020 election.

In addition to claims of electronic manipulation, the lawsuit claims irregularities and illegalities involving the physical vote and vote counting process, as well as inconsistencies and problems with ballot handling and ballot chain of custody.

The lawsuit argues that the aforementioned irregularities contaminated the electoral process nationwide, and also produced electoral results in the Yeonsu-gu district that did not reflect the free will of the electorate.

This document is another legal brief prepared by the legal team of former South Korean National Assemblyman, Mr. MIN Kyung Wook, in a suit filed against the District Election Commissioner of the Yeonsu-gu District, City of Incheon.

The lawsuit centers on allegations of election fraud perpetrated during the April 15, 2020 general election held in South Korea. The filing includes photographic evidence, screenshots of relevant information/evidence, and other visual aids to help the court (and the reader) understand better the allegations of election fraud during the recent South Korean general election.

Among the claims included in the brief are serious allegations of ballot paper mishandling and other chain-of-custody irregularities. For example, the brief cites as evidence details of ballot papers being found among election-related documents discarded by the National Election Commission at a local junkyard. *Reference: (Exhibit No. 120 JoongAng Ilbo article, “Why does the Buyeo ballot come out of the Siheung junk shop? The NEC: “don’t know”).

Other allegations include evidence of irregularities involving electoral observers being obstructed and/or not permitted to carry out their assigned, and lawful, functions. The legal basis for establishing and operating temporary voting stations is also challenged by the plaintiff.

The plaintiff also argues that the NEC’s response to the several allegations raises serious doubt about the authenticity and integrity of the April 15th election and on South Korea’s electoral system, such that public trust has been eroded.

The list is a compilation of the lawsuits filed by the legal representatives to invalidate the election results of the 2020 General Election in South Korea. The list summarizes 126 lawsuits that were filed, including the plaintiffs, defendants, and current status and results (if any). The purpose of filing these complaints was to investigate whether or not the integrity of the election was compromised. However, while a few cases had advanced to the preliminary stages, and a few were dismissed, the vast majority had not even had initial hearings – as the date of this summary, in September 2020 – five months after the election. After previous elections, court cases challenging the electoral process or some part of it have typically been resolved in a matter of weeks.

The 21st National Assembly Election in Korea was held on April 15, 2020, and many lawsuits claiming electoral misconduct and alleged fraud are still in progress.

As this situation was unfolding, the Korean National Election Commission moved the central server used in the 21st general election from its original location to another location on September 30, 2020 – even while 127 election lawsuits are ongoing. The central server contains the most essential evidence for determining whether election fraud occurred on April 15th. This report argues that the act of terminating and deleting the leased server despite the ongoing election proceedings clearly violates the Public Official Election Act, despite the National Election Commission’s legal responsibility and may also be grounds for invalidating the election itself. This paper discusses the legal issues surrounding the jurisdiction of the election lawsuits and reviews the key legal aspects involving the election litigation.

It is argued that the removal of the servers more of a criminal case than a simple administrative matter. However, given the current political situation in South Korea, it is argued that domestic agencies are unable to effectively investigate and uphold election integrity.

Therefore, it is argued, since the use of high-performance electronic devices in elections worldwide is expected to increase in the future, it is appropriate for an international group of experts to carry out a follow-up investigation on the ROK election computing equipment and records. This would be in line with the trend towards greater international cooperation in monitoring elections worldwide.