Volunteers line up for fair count at ballot box

Volunteers line up for fair count at ballot box

Gamze Kolcu – ANKARA
Volunteers line up for fair count at ballot box

AA Photo

As observers of political parties fight tooth and nail at the ballot boxes during and after the election day, volunteers have lined up for a fair-and-square count of the votes in the June 7 elections. 

The organizers of two of the non-partisan initiatives that were established on a volunteer-basis model and with the aim of ensuring democratic and fair elections, “Vote and Beyond” (Oy ve Ötesi) and “Platform for Votes of Turkey” (Türkiye’nin Oyları Platformu), said while everyone should go to the polls and cast their vote, they should also protect their votes. 

Işık Sedef Gürbüz, one of the spokespersons for the Türkiye’nin Oyları platform, said they would be present at the polls on June 7 amid collaborations with the Atatürkçü Düşünce Derneği (Kemalist Thought Association) and Demokratik ve Güvenli Seçim Girişimi (Democratic and Safe Elections Initiative), adding that they were also receiving support from various associations such as the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB). 

“We are not a side. We work so that each of the votes of citizens … is reflected in the ballot box results.

When a vote goes missing, it means that your right to speak has been taken from you,” Gürbüz said, adding that they would have observers in 65 provinces and also a crew of 1,500 analysts to process the information brought to them. 

Gürbüz said that while their observers were going to be at the ballot boxes and watch and help the ballot box boards, they were also going to intervene and initiate legal necessary procedures when an illegal situation occurs.

The observers will send a copy of the votes’ reports to the platform and the analysis crew, who will be before their computers for 36 hours, will compare the reports sent from the observers with the registries on the Computer Supported Central Voter Registry System (SEÇSİS) used by the Supreme Election Board (YSK). 

Stating that as they are a civil initiative they cannot continue after the district election boards, Gürbüz said they were hoping for a fair continuation of the process after that level as well. 

Sercan Çelebi, the spokesperson for Oy ve Ötesi, which is an association that was established in 2013 by eight friends for transparent and democratic elections, said they would be present with around 60,000 volunteer observers in 171 districts in 45 provinces. 

“We are conducting our works in the framework of impartiality, independence and the rule of law. We have divided the election process into two. Casting, counting and writing the votes in the reports is the initial step.

The second step is to merge reports and enter the ballot box results into the system,” Çelebi said. 

Commenting on the voting process, Çelebi said they did not care about what came out of the votes but they were concerned about the transparency of the elections. 

Çelebi said they would not announce any kind of an election result as it was not their mission, adding that if there were any issues that need to be reported, they would transmit the information to the necessary institutions.