World Bulletin / News Desk
As Turkey gears up for local elections in March 2014, Chairman of the Supreme Election Board (YSK) Sadi Güven has pledged that vote tallies signed by poll station supervisors will be scanned and published online. Allegations of voter fraud are a recurring theme in Turkey. Past elections have seen claims of unregistered voters being bussed to polls and registered voters being deleted from the rolls.
In remarks to the Milliyet daily on Wednesday, the YSK chairman, pointing out that representatives from political parties are entitled to attend polling stations as supervisors during voting, said that the ballot boxes are opened and their results documented in the presence of those representatives. The party representatives are allowed to keep a copy of the official vote tallies, which are signed with “wet,” or original, signatures, he added.
“It is already possible to see which party garnered how many votes in which district and at which ballot box on the system. But for those who don't trust digital data, we are going to scan the vote tallies with wet signatures from each box and publish them online. Everyone will be able to see the scanned version of the signed documents.”
Güven said the political parties know how credible the current voting system is, adding that the parties had recently been briefed by the YSK. Those who are not well informed about the system, he continued, manipulate the public with allegations of fraud.
Güven said the YSK is planning to film public service announcements to raise awareness about the system among voters. He also advised citizens to check their registration status and residence information on the YSK's official website before the elections, especially if they changed addresses and haven't informed the YSK.
Ballot boxes for citizens living abroad will be set up in Turkish embassies, he said, adding that if the project is finished soon, expatriates will be able to vote in the 2014 presidential election at their local embassy.
The implementation of electronic voting, he said, is incompatible with the current system and would require legal changes.
After looking at the latest census records, the YSK redrew electoral districts in Turkey between April and July 2013 and decided on the total number of parliamentary representatives for Turkey's 81 provinces.
According to the new electoral map, the province of Ankara will be divided into two districts and have 32 representatives in Parliament, while İstanbul will be divided into three districts with a total of 87 representatives.Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ağustos 2013, 10:04