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More Opposition Ballot Counters Still Needed for Election

picture of ballot counter

Although people continue to sign up as ballot counters for the political opposition at the initiative of an organization called Twenty-Thousand for a Clean Election in 2022 (20k), the group wrote on social media that they still needed new applicants.

20k announced on Thursday that thus far 15,000 people had registered through their website, but only 11,000 of them have provided all of the necessary information and will not be able to volunteer as ballot counters until they do. In addition, most have not yet indicated where they would like to work on election day.

Back in November, MSZP politician Zsolt Molnár told ATV Híradó that more than 15,000 people had already registered to be ballot counters for the election.

Hungary has just over 10,000 electoral districts, and political parties are able to delegate two persons in each one to represent them.

There are now enough applicants in the capital, but the situation is different in smaller towns. Those living in rural settlements may find it particularly difficult to openly declare their intention to be an opposition ballot counter, since pro-government mayors in small towns of a few hundred people can frequently find ways of exacting retribution on them later.

With this in mind, 20k22 organizers have considered how to help those who want to volunteer in another location on April 3. Applicants can choose how far they are able to travel, and according to 444.hu, only 17% of those who apply want to stay in their own district, while 12% are willing to go anywhere in the country.

For the time being, applicants can count on receiving the necessary legal, technical, and organizational training through online courses, and they will have to swear an oath in their chosen electoral district before the vote begins. On voting day, they can ask lawyers to decide on any contentious issues.

20K is partnering with an organization called the Let’s Count Together Movement, but only those from Let’s Count who declare their intention to be opposition ballot counters can also join 20k.

While the group’s stated goal is 20,000, 30,000 ballot counters would be preferable so that they have reserves in case any drop out at the last minute.

[Népszava]

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Posted in 2022 Elections

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