Crowdsourcing vote recounts in a polarized Turkey
Approximately 200 volunteers, most of them young, showed up in the CHP headquarters in Ankara for crowd sourced vote-checking
Vote recounts have been crowd sourced in Turkey, amid widespread fraud allegations including discoveries of ballots in trash bags and suspicious power blackouts.
As thousands of opposition supporters were attacked by police in Ankara, a key battleground of the 30 March local elections, hundreds of others volunteered at the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayoral candidate Mansur Yavaş’s campaign to “fight” against the alleged fraud.
Before formally reporting their complaints to the authorities on April 1, the CHP announced that it had copied the official vote count of the High Election Council (YSK) on its own servers, asking citizens to comb through the database and report any irregularity on Twitter, which is still officially blocked in Turkey, using the hashtag #ankarasandikbuglari (Ankara Ballot Bugs).
In the CHP headquarters in Ankara, approximately 200 volunteers reportedly worked with their computers, trying to discover inconsistencies on hundreds of ballot box records and voting center documents.
#MansurSavaşıyor (Mansur Fights) was another worldwide trending topic on Twitter April 1. Some vote-checking crowdsourcers claimed to have discovered that the CHP's votes were transferred on official database to smaller parties at a minimum of 27 ballot boxes:
Melih Gökçek, from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and Yavaş, the CHP’s mayoral candidate, had claimed victory early on March 31.
It has been stressed that the election results will only be finalized after all complaints are resolved, which could potentially be as late as April 6.