What will the new vote counting software do for Turkish elections?

What will the new vote counting software do for Turkish elections?

The snap elections due to take place on June 24 will mark a first, with the presidential and parliamentary ballots put into a single envelope. 

When the counting process begins after 5 p.m. local time, the ballots will first be taken out from the envelopes and separated. Then the process for the presidential counting will take off.

Turkey will first learn the name of the president, especially if there is no need to go to a second round. If there is to be a second round, the public will then be informed about the candidates that will challenge each other. The general expectation is that the results will come out at around 7 p.m.

Then the counting will begin for the parliamentary votes. We may expect that the results for that count could come in later, as the presidential results will have the priority. Still, we can expect the results to go public before midnight on June 24.

One question that arises here is that as there are alliances, how long would the separation of votes for individual parties take and will that cause any delays or not. In the process, the parliamentary votes will first be counted by the D’Hondt system for the parliamentary votes between the alliances, and then among the alliances themselves.

The portion of the votes that alliances get will be calculated at the provincial elections council level, and the D’Hondt sharings will be calculated at the provincial elections council level.

The Supreme Elections Council (YSK) says there is no need to worry. It say that although the calculations for the alliances seem complex at the moment, the procedures will be rapidly and automatically handled through software designed by the YSK.

Mehmet Hadimi Yakupoğlu, the representative of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) at the YSK, says they are not expecting any complications at this level.

“The addition of the votes coming from abroad and the customs gates to the votes received by the alliances will be done through the software designed by the YSK,” Yakupoğlu says.

“This software prepared by the YSK is present at the political parties in Turkey too,” he adds, saying that this is why it is possible to monitor this process at the YSK through this software.

“This system helps compare the interparty data and allows for cross inspections,” says Yakupoğlu.

This software - designed by the YSK and named SIPPORT – which is short for the “Political Party Portal” in Turkish, was in use during the local elections in 2014 and all elections following that including the April 2017 referendum.

The software allows for party headquarters to monitor every piece of data entered into the “Elections Informative System” by provincial election councils at each step of the way.

In this regard, the political party headquarters will be able to watch the results coming in in JPEG format and put in by the provincial election councils through the SIPPORT, allowing a transparent system in which others can monitor the entered data.

The parties will take account of the ballots with wet signatures coming out from the boxes on the spot and will be able to compare the results in the end, which allows for a significant monitoring system.

What we have covered until now about SIPPORT shows that the software will serve as an especially important inspection mechanism after the election councils enter the data.

So eyes should really focus on the voting and counting processes before the data even makes it to the provincial election councils. Especially considering the rows that were stirred after the referendum on April 16, 2017, it is absolutely necessity for votes to be counted transparently and correctly before they become data.

In sum, it is fair to say that protecting the ballot boxes is absolutely essential.

YSK, elecitons, Turkey, voting, ballots, SIPPORT, June 24, votes, opinion