Silba, a Danish NGO that observes elections, sent two groups of observers to Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to monitor mail-in voting by ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania for Hungary’s parliamentary elections, reports Magyar Hang.
Silba’s preliminary report of their experiences offers a depressing glimpse into how voting for Hungary’s elections is conducted outside the country, characterizing the entire process as “generally poor to differing degrees.”
The group writes that the Hungarian National Council of Transylvania (EMNT) did not use a traditional ballot box but a cut-out cardboard box, forms containing personal data were “kept on full display for anyone to see,” and mail-in ballots from villages in Transylvania were “kept unlocked and and left for anybody to tamper with.”
In addition, they observed that the Hungarian consulate in Cluj-Napoca did not have a seal on the ballot box, but they also considered it “problematic” that NGOs collected ballots from ethnic Hungarian villages, which were brought to the consulate and thrown “directly in the ballot boxes.”
Their report also describes that they saw an old man cast a vote on behalf of his wife and a woman voting on behalf of her son, in addition to a woman who “threw in about ten ballots at once.”
The number of ballots and envelopes available at the absentee voting was almost twice as much [sic] as the number of registered voters at the consulate, which could potentially be quite problematic due to abuse of unused ballots.
-reads the report.
When the votes had been counted and put in cardboard boxes they were not taken to the safe room but instead was [sic] left in the hallway of the consulate to be stored overnight. The room right outside the hallway had all the security cameras blocked with pieces of cloth.
-ends Silba’s report on voting procedures in Romania.
View the group’s preliminary findings here.