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South Koreans question the result of presidential election

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Message Hyun Song
Geun-hye Park, the daughter of a dictator Chung-hee Park who ruled South Korea in the 1960's~70's, was elected in the 18th president of South Korea on Dec. 19th, 2012. The voting rate was as high as 76%, which is much greater than the 54% turnout for the congressional election held in April, 2012, because Koreans realize the country is at a critical turning point. Geun-hye Park was supported mostly by the older generation and conservative groups, while Jae-In Moon, a human rights attorney, was supported by young people and progressive groups.

After the election, many people have been questioning the integrity and accountability of the results; in fact, one citizen shouted in anger during a protest in Seoul, "We feel as if we are losing our nation. There are so many reasons to suspect election fraud." 

Koreans are perplexed by the big difference between the exit polls and the final results because several exit polls showed that Moon would win. Many people also doubt the unrealistically smooth S-shape graph for the voting rate, where the ratio of the votes earned between Park (51.6%) and Moon (48%) didn't change after 60% of ballot-counting. 

The law of South Korea prescribes that all ballots should be counted by hand, but there have been testimonies that hand counting was not performed in many ballot count facilities. The ballots were only sorted by machine, which may assign ballots to the wrong place, .i.e. to another candidate by error. As of Jan 12th, 2013, about 230,000 citizens have signed a petition demanding a recount by hand, and some Koreans are even petitioning the White House. 

Koreans living overseas are also raising their voice to demand a recount by hand, and thousands of Koreans are filing a lawsuit to nullify the result of the presidential election. They also continue to hold candle light protests to express their rights as voters. 

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Hyun Song is a computational biophysicsist.
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