The Election Commission (EC) manages the presidential election and elections for National Assembly Members, for Local Council Members and for heads of the local government as prescribed by the ‘Public Official Election Act'.
Manage Election Affairs
Election management includes registering preliminary candidates during a certain time period before the election, making and overseeing an electoral register, registering candidates, managing election campaign as well as voting and counting to finally determine elected candidates.
Prevent, Oversee and Control Election Law Violations
The EC strictly oversees and controls activities that do damage to fairness in election as well as takes preventive actions against election law violations to ensure an equal opportunity for political parties and candidates and to hold elections in a fair way while the election processes are complied with.
- Election Surveillance Unit
he EC operates the Election Surveillance Units comprising election malpractice monitoring groups, volunteers and personnel who report election law violations and arranges the joint Election Surveillance Units in each metropolitan area or city to ensure the smooth election process. In addition, the EC operates the Cyber Election t Units to monitor and control the online activities that violate the election laws.
- Issue of Order and Warning to Stop and Correct Election Law Violations
The EC issues a suspension, warning, or correction order against election law violations and imposes a fine on the violators. If they disobey orders or do not stop his/her behavior, the EC brings a formal charge or requests an investigation against the violations.
Manage Campaign Spending
- Set a Limit for Campaign Spending
Election campaign spending allowed per election is determined and announced as total campaign spending. The EC also provides guidance on incomes and expenses of election-related funds for political parties and candidates.
- Investigate into the Incomes and Expenses of Election-related Funds
The EC verifies and investigates information on incomes and expenses of election-related funds reported by parties and candidates. In case of any violation such as providing false information, the EC brings a formal charge or requests an investigation against the violations.
Manage Entrusted Elections
The EC manages elections for the head of the Agricultural, Fisheries, Livestock and Forestry Cooperatives and the president of national universities to realize fair elections under the Election Commission Act and other relevant laws and regulations. The process of those entrusted elections is similar in nature to that of the elections for public offices.
Manage Election Affairs within Political Party
The EC manages affairs relating to intra party competitions entrusted by political parties to recommend candidates of public official elections if the parties entrust the elections.
Management of Various Votes
Management of National Referendums
The EC conducts and manages referendums based on the constitution to hear public opinions on important policies that affect national security such as foreign policy, national defense, unification and revision of the constitution.
Management of Residents’ Referendums
The EC manages Residents’ Referendums to determine important matters which will be formulated into ordinances of local governments and which also relate to national policies and impose a heavy burden on or affect the public. The process of Residents’ Referendums is similar to that of referendums.
Management of Residents’ Recall Votes
The EC manages Residents’ Recall Votes through which the public decide to remove a head of local government or a local council member from his/her office before his/her office term is terminated in such cases as parliamentary democracy is damaged due to the elected head of local government or local council member violating the law, performing wrongdoings or neglecting his/her duty.
Management of Political Party Duties
The EC administers the registration, change, performance and dismissal of political parties and supports their activities on the basis of the constitution and the Political Parties Act to guarantee freedom of forming a political party and doing political activities so that the parties will be developed into ‘Policy-oriented’ parties.
Management of Affairs in Relation to Political Funds
The National Election Commission provides national subsidies for political parties, oversees the establishment and performance of supporters associations, consigns and distributes political funds and monitors how the political funds are spent to guarantee smooth fundraising and transparency according to the Political Funds Act.
Promotion for Fair Election
The EC performs promotional activities in various ways to encourage voters to actively exercise their ballots in a transparent way.
Policy-based Election Atmosphere
The NEC has opened a policy portal site (http://epol.nec.go.kr) through which election information is promptly delivered and held various discussions including policy forums to assist political parties and candidates in competing by presenting feasible political views and policies while complying with the Election Act and to enable voters to compare and evaluate the political views and policies of each candidate.
Nationwide Campaign for Fair Election
The NEC performs promotional activities and conducts campaigns to spread an atmosphere of fair elections nationwide by interacting with religious groups and social/civic groups.
Democratic Citizen Education
Promotion to Enhance Citizenship
- The NEC educates students who will be future voters on election/political systems throughout each level of curriculum and promotes elections to new voters before/after Coming-of-Age day to foster democratic citizenship and create a culture of fair elections.
- The NEC provides election information on a regular basis to those who lead the public opinion and conducts national campaigns through which it provides lectures on fair elections and hosts symposiums, discussions and local festivals, etc.
Education at Korea Civic Education Institute for Democracy (KOCEI)
The KOCEI, established within the NEC, educates on elections, supports organization officials, college students, teachers and general people as well as commissioners and employees of the NECI and develops and distributes educational materials.
Spread of Democracy in the World
The NEC is engaged in a variety of activities such as hosting forums on democratic citizenship, providing training programmes for overseas electoral personnel and spreading experiences of democratic citizenship education.
Arrangement of Democratic Citizenship Education in Preparation for Reunification
The NEC has undertaken systematic research on democratic citizenship education for actual integration of South and North Korea after reunification.
International Exchange and Cooperation
Exchanges with Overseas Election Management Bodies
Since joining the Association of Asian Election Authorities and being elected Vice Chair of AAEA in 2008, the NEC has hosted AAEA General Assembly and been elected Chair of AAEA in 2011. It has also been engaged in international activities including signing Memorandums of Understanding with overseas election management bodies and hosting regular forums and international conferences.
Support for Emerging Democracies
The NEC has provided comprehensive and systematic support for emerging democracies such as by arranging projects regarding training programmes for overseas electoral personnel as well as supplying election/administration equipment.
Research on Electoral/Political System
Research on Korean and Foreign Political System
The EC takes responsibility for managing elections, parties and political funds. In addition to performing its duties according to the Election Act, the Political Parties Act and the Political Funds Act, the NEC identifies problems of existing systems and management, collects opinions from all walks of life and compares the system in Korea with that in foreign countries to establish a political system that suits best the political reality in Korea.
Submission of Proposals for Law Enactment/Revision
The NEC, if necessary, submits proposals to the National Assembly for enacting and amending the political laws such as the Public Official Election Act and establishes/revises regulations entrusted by the law and provides expertise on entrusted elections, residents’ votes and elections for associations/organizations.
Research on E-Election System
The NEC has continuously undertaken research on e-election system since 1990s. The NEC developed a button-type electronic voting system in 1998, a touch screen voting system in 2001, and a sorting machine that classifies and counts ballots by candidate in 2002.