(...) The National Election Commission chose LG U+ 5G, which uses Huawei equipment, to provide internet and wifi for handling the pre-vote ballots. Instead of establishing its own secured network, which it could have had by using the very secure Gwangju/Daejeon Information Data Center (IDC), NEC chose an unsecured network, and worse, used a network that uses Huawei equipment notorious for control by China. (2:00) Here is what is possible: The servers used at the election sites can be connected to servers in China (or elsewhere), and the user on that end in China can send the instructions to the central server in South Korea, which in turn sends a message to the vote counting machines. It would be even more helpful for the server operator on the other end in China, if those with access to the central server in South Korea sent the user ID, password, and the port number to the server in China, which is also a possibility. The “other end” does not necessarily need to be in China. Again, this is a potential scenario. (...)
(...) The QR Codes were used on the early/mail-in ballots while Bar Codes were used on the election day ballots. Why were they not uniform? One theory is that the software in the central server needed the difference to instruct the vote counting machine to treat each differently. (10:52) For instance, the software can have instructions to count the Bar Codes as the citizens voted, but for QR Codes, count them differently regardless of how the voters voted. For instance, it can be instructed to re-route every 4th ballot that was voted for one party to another party. What kind of instructions the software contains really depends on the imagination of the programmer, given a specific purpose. (...)
(...) In addition to the above suspicions, statistics have provided further concern of fraud. A YouTuber Vasilia TV downloaded the data from the National Election Committee (NEC) website and conducted an analysis. He noticed a large difference between the 20th and 21st (April 2020) general elections. Whereas the difference between the early votes and the election day votes were in the 0-7% range and irregular, the 21st election showed that its was about 10-15% higher for the Democratic Party of Korea (Deobureo Minjoo), while about 10-15% lower for the United Future Party, and more consistently. (0:25)
He points out that the vote counting machine system is more than the vote counting machine, as it also includes the server, the software notebook, and the internet. (6:02)
Additional controversy arose when 37 districts had more voted ballots than eligible voters. The voters have demanded the National Election Commission to make public the source code used in the software for the early-vote operations, but the Commission refused. While making the source-code public seems like it would decrease the security of the voting machine, it actually increases security and transparency because security researchers are able to evaluate and propose solutions to make the software more secure. Also, it is much easier to conduct a forensic analysis to determine whether software has been tampered with when the code is made public. (...)
(...) Professor Walter MeBane’s report “Anomalies and Frauds in the Korea 2020 Parliamentary Election∗” is causing a stir. Walter MeBane is a professor of Political Science and Statistics at University of Michigan, and he is the leading expert on detecting fraud in elections. His Election Forensics (eforensics) is “a positive empirical model, developed by using a general Bayesian framework using finite mixture models of product distributions to identify the probability and distribution of frauds in elections.” He had also used the eforensics statistical model to detect fraud in elections in Bolivia in 2019, the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019, and Kenya in 2017.
The eforensics model “offers evidence that fraudulent votes occurred in the election that may have changed some election outcomes. The statistical model operationalizes the idea that ‘frauds’ occur when one party gains votes by a combination of manufacturing votes from abstentions and stealing votes from opposing parties. The Bayesian specification 2 allows posterior means and credible intervals for counts of ‘fraudulent’ votes to be determined both for the entire election and for observed individual aggregation units.” (p. 1)
The eforensics model shows that “Covariates for turnout and vote choice include indicators for pre-vote, voting post,abroad and disabled-ship status and fixed effects for the 253 constituencies included in the data. The two specifications agree that 446 aggregation units are fraudulent, but 761 additional units are fraudulent in the Democratic party specification and 807 additional units are fraudulent in the constituency-leading party specification.” (p. 6)
Mebane noted in the report that in the Democratic Party of Korea focused observations (Figure 4), “Visually and by the numbers, frauds occur most frequently for pre-vote units (28.7% are fraudulent), next most frequently for for district-level, election-day, not abroad unts (2.43% fraudulent) then next most frequently voting post election day units (.67% are fraudulent) then abroad units (.61% are fraudulent).” (p. 6) (...)
(...) Meanwhile, the winning party is also behaving oddly. It is remarkable by how muted the reaction has been from the Democratic Party of Korea. Yang Jung-cheol (양정철), the head of the Democratic Party of Korea’s think tank Institute for Democracy, which is responsible for the party’s election strategy, should have been elated at such a sweeping election victory, but was not. Yang, who is also President Moon Jae-in’s confidant, instead said he was terrified at the outcome and quickly resigned. When a journalist pointed out that he played the most important role in this election and asked for a comment, Yang’s answer was strange and cryptic.
Yang answered, “I’m terrified and afraid because they made such an enormous outcome (landslide victory for his party),” and expressed his desire to resign his position as the head of Institute for Democracy. Further, he expressed, “I’ll return to the backwaters and will stay quietly as if to wait for a sunset.” (...)
QR codes on ballots, tabulation sheets trigger conspiracy theory
(...) In South Korea, QR codes have been at the center of a controversy following the April 15 National Assembly elections in which 300 lawmakers were elected and the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) clinched a landslide victory. The two-dimensional bar codes were used twice over the course of the election; once on ballots for early and postal voting and again on voter-completed tabulation sheets printed from counting machines. (...)
(...) Despite these advantages, however, election cybersecurity expert Richard DeMillo says QR codes are "costly, unnecessary and risky features of modern voting systems," particularly in the U.S. where some states like Colorado allow the use of paper-less voting machines. "QR codes are not readable by human beings, so voters have no idea what is actually written on their ballots when they are scanned, decreasing voter confidence in the fairness of the election process," he told The Korea Times.
DeMillo, the Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Chair of Computer Science and professor of management at Georgia Tech, and one of three authors of the 2019 paper titled "Ballot-Marking Devices (BMDs) Cannot Assure the Will of the Voters," says QR codes are also vulnerable to cyberattacks as hackers can install malware on ballot marking devices and make undetectable changes to the code on the printed ballot. (...)
In the South Korean National Assembly elections, QR codes were featured on early and postal voting ballots but not on those used on the election day. The election results displayed a sharp divide between these "pre-election" votes and election day voting. In the latter, the ruling DPK and the main opposition United Future Party were in a close contest, with the UFP gaining one more seat than the ruling party.
However, that lead, albeit narrow, was reversed overnight after pre-election votes were counted. The ruling Democratic Party won 163 seats and its sister party won 17. The election results were abysmal for the main opposition UFP. Together with its sister party, the UFP secured a mere 103 seats. A popular explanation for the unusual results states that many ruling party supporters were encouraged to turn out for early voting while conservative voters supporting the main opposition party primarily turned out on election day.
Some, however, do not buy this explanation and have begun to cast doubt on the pre-election votes. Park Young-ah, a physics professor at Myongji University in Seoul, said the odds of such an election result occurring were almost non-existent. "It's as improbable as flipping a coin 1,000 times and getting heads every single time," she wrote on Facebook, April 20. "This happened without a rigged election?"
Election expert Walter Mebane Jr.'s analysis paper of the 2020 Korean National Assembly election has fueled suspicions about the results. Mebane Jr., a professor of political science and statistics at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, used "eforensics" to analyze election data on the website of the National Election Commission (NEC) and found "anomalies that strongly suggest election data were fraudulently manipulated," suggesting that an investigation into what happened would be needed. (...)
The cited article:
Anomalies and Frauds in the Korea 2020 Parliamentary Election, SMD and PR Voting with Comparison to 2016 SMD
What does everybody think?