By: Jung Min-ho

The whole process of the by-elections, from voters entering polling stations to ballot-counting, was broadcast live online Wednesday.

To improve transparency of the four by-elections in Seoul, Incheon, Seongnam and Gwangju, the National Election Commission (NEC) aired special programs live on its website, YouTube, Naver and Daum.

The NEC said this was to earn people’s trust over the nation’s election system.

Through the programs, the NEC showed interviews of voters at polling stations, informing viewers of the dos and don’ts.

Experts say the demand for more transparent elections increased after the National Intelligence Service (NIS) was accused of helping President Park Geun-hye during her presidential election in 2012.

As a result, Won Sei-hoon, who served as director of the NIS from 2009 to 2013, was sentenced to three years in prison by the Seoul High Court for engaging in “activities against a particular political party.”

More recently, Cho Hee-yeon, education superintendent for Seoul, was fined 5 million won ($4,640) for spreading false rumors about a rival candidate during an election campaign last year.

Under the local education law, a candidate who intentionally spreads false information about a rival can be fined 5 million to 30 million won or sent to prison for up to seven years.

The NEC stepped up its efforts to check to whether there were any illegal election activities among rival candidates on the streets and online.

SOURCE: THE KOREA TIMES