Ballot box security is for everyone!
Independent initiatives like Vote and Beyond (“Oy ve Ötesi”) are working to guarantee ballot box security ahead of Turkey’s June 24 snap elections. Some criticize these works as unnecessary and “troublemaking,” even trying to throw dirt at them.
“No such thing can happen in our election. What do these independent observers know? Who are they? Why is there a need for such groups? Our country has held elections democratically, error-free, and decently for many years,” they say.
But now look at what the government is saying about the controversial Supreme Election Board (YSK) decision to relocate ballot boxes in 19 different provinces: “Of course we have taken precautions so ballot boxes can now be relocated due to security concerns. And in the event of any suspicious activity, citizens can notify the police.” So it is obvious that there is insecurity going on and an inspection mechanism is needed!
It is always possible for dirty tricks to be played, for bullying to occur at ballot boxes, for votes to be stolen. Mistakes can occur. So the more observers there are, the more transparent the mechanism is.
A few bad apples may be present at every ballot box in every region across the country. So let’s not get into a discussion of “your observer” versus “my observer.” Instead, let’s conduct a perfect election without any doubt cast on it. Let no one be able to say later: “That person was elected but there was this blemish and in fact they did not garner so many votes.” Let everyone be at ease.
When a person puts a lock and an alarm on their door, it is not because they suspect everyone in the neighborhood. When a group of youths say “we are going to put security cameras on street corners in addition to police and alarm measures, so that the truth can be uncovered,” no one says: “You cannot do that. Who are you? What is the need for that?” Instead, everyone says “Thank you.”
Why? Because we are all on the same boat.
If it was up to me, I would put a camera in every spot, recording everywhere except the voting booth. 100 percent transparency! It is not that I am paranoid; it is not because I don’t trust my fellow citizens or think everyone in my neighborhood has a potential to steal. But I keep my front door locked when I’m not there as a smart precaution.
I call on all voters here to cast their votes, whoever they vote for. Let us be observers for our party or to help independent poll observers. At least let us not put a spoke in their wheel and make their lives difficult.
In that way, even if we happen to experience a happy or unhappy night based on the June 24 election results, we will have a very comfortable sleep as a country.