17,880 votes

17,880 votes

I wrote about the election security last week. I did my duty as a volunteer for Oy ve Otesi (Vote and Beyond), took a signed copy of the official result of my ballot box and handed it over to the organization.

Thousands of other volunteers and official party members did exactly the same. I wrote that being present at each ballot box was the only way to make sure that the election results would be real because at each level the security of election could be compromised. 

Vote and Beyond gathers the results of each ballot box and compares them with the official results to determine if there were any wrong doings. According to the organization’s official statement, 17,880 votes have been added to the AKP results. Some 3,666 votes were added to MHP, 1,091 votes were added to the HDP and 181 votes were added to the CHP. The only party that lost votes was the Saadet Party, with 6,000 missing votes. 

Unfortunately, we cannot say how many votes were misplaced in total because there were not nearly enough volunteers for each and every station. 

In total, around 2,300 changed votes that were caught won’t change anything. But it is the principle that counts.  We have to be sure that the people’s choices are reflected in the results. 

We can use technology to make the system safer but only if we let third parties check the security of the voting process, as any mainframe or cloud-based system can be hacked or manipulated. 

For example, below is a press statement from 2011: 

TeliaSonera’s subsidiary, the mobile operator EMT in Estonia, has created a world’s first mobile identification service which makes it possible to vote via a mobile phone. The service enabled the citizens of Estonia to cast their vote in yesterday’s parliamentary elections via their mobile phone for the first time in the world.

“TeliaSonera’s subsidiary EMT has created a Mobile ID-service that enables verification of people’s identity over the Internet, digital signature, and now casting votes electronically as well.

“’It is a technological breakthrough that a mobile phone could be used for giving legally binding digital signatures replacing handwritten signatures on paper. We are very proud to be able to use this kind of innovative mobile service for voting in elections. Additionally, all kind of other e-services can be used with the Mobile ID in Estonia,’” says Håkan Dahlström, President of Mobility Services.” 

If Estonia did it, we can do it too. 

Why we insist in faulty voting systems as a country is beyond me.