Turnout in Turkey’s Nov. 1 vote over 85 pct

Turnout in Turkey’s Nov. 1 vote over 85 pct

Turnout in Turkey’s Nov. 1 vote over 85 pct

Turkish election officials show the ballot papers with signs of 15 political parties participating in election, as they count ballots shortly after the polling stations closed at the end of the election day, in Istanbul, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. AP Photo

Turkey witnessed a new high on Nov. 1 with a turnout of over 85 percent of eligible voters in the snap elections held only five months after the June 7 parliamentary elections.

“The turnout was high. This is a significant achievement in the name of democracy. The turnout was approximately 85.18 percent. Domestic turnout was 87.34 percent while expat turnout was 44.78. From our 56,949,009 voters, 48,537,201 voters cast their votes,” Sadi Güven, the head of the Supreme Election Board (YSK), told reporters on Nov. 2.

Güven also said final official results were expected to be announced within 11-12 days, after the end of the appeal process, while underlining there have been “no problems” concerning the results.

According to Güven’s statement, the number of invalid votes considerably decreased when compared to the June 7 vote.

“We had taken measures that would provide our citizens to make fewer mistakes. By this way, while there were 1,346,340 invalid votes in the June 7 election, this figure has decreased to 698,352 in this election,” he said.

The results of the least four elections held in Turkey displayed a gradual increase in voter turnout. According to figures by the YSK, 32,768,161 of 41,407,027 eligible voters cast their votes in the Nov. 3, 2002, parliamentary elections. The turnout was 79.14 percent with 31,528,378 valid votes.

In the July 22, 2007, parliamentary elections, 36,056,293 of 42,799,303 eligible voters cast their votes. The figure represented a turnout of 84 percent with 35,049,691 valid votes. 

In the June 12, 2011, parliamentary elections, 43,914,763 of 52,806,322 eligible voters cast their votes. The turnout was 83.16 percent with 42,941,763 valid votes.

As for the June 7 elections, 47,507,467 of 56,608,817 eligible voters cast their votes, good for a turnout of 83.92 percent with 46,163,243 valid votes. 

Nonetheless, there was a crucial difference in the June 7 elections, as expat voters were able to cast their votes at polling stations placed in diplomatic locations around the world, not just at customs gates. When expat votes are ignored, the turnout was 86.43 percent, as only 32.5 percent of eligible expat voters cast their votes in the June 7 election. 

The number of new eligible voters reached over 1,270,000 for the Nov. 1 elections, while it was 1,041,000 for the June 7 polls. This increase is assumed to have been reflected in the overall turnout.