A group of politically-minded Hungarians residing in England is petitioning the government, the National Election Commission, and the National Election Office for more polling stations for them to vote in the 2022 Parliamentary elections.
The authors of the petition (“Hungarians in England for a Change of Government in 2022”) are demanding on the aHang website that the government provide the opportunity for Hungarians living major English cities to vote in those places so they do not have to travel to London from the other side of the country. In addition to London, the petition wants polling locations in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Brighton, Bristol, Norwich, Nottingham, Cambridge, and Canterbury.
They are also calling for an increase in the number of polling stations at Hungary’s official representations in London and Manchester “in order to prevent previous unfortunate situations.”
More than 155,000 Hungarians officially live in Great Britain, point out the petitioners, many of them with permanent Hungarian addresses. However, the Orbán government has made it very difficult for them to vote from there, and at present it appears that only in London and possibly Manchester will they be able to exercise their voting rights in next year’s Parliamentary elections.
“The Orbán government has deprived Hungarians of the opportunity to vote by mail, but permitted it for those who have never lived in Hungary and do not have a permanent address in Hungary, but possess Hungarian citizenship,” they added, referring to separate voting procedures for ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries.
The group believes that the reason for this is because ethnic Hungarian minorities are openly supportive of the government, while Hungarians who move abroad tend to support the opposition parties.
At the same time, the government has legalized voting tourism through the establishment of fictitious addresses, creating a hotbed of election fraud, they claim, in reference to a recent amendment to the election law.
“No one should have to pay £50-100 or travel hundreds of miles to vote, while others can vote comfortably by mail,” said the group, indicating its desire to make voting easier for Hungarians in Britain.