The National Election Office (NVI) has completed a preliminary counting of the votes that were cast in Hungary’s April 3 parliamentary elections.
According to the final figures released on Saturday afternoon, 318,083 mail-in votes for party lists were returned to NVI from locations outside the country. The election bureau recorded a total of 264,031 valid mail-in votes, while some 50,000 mail-in ballots were deemed invalid.
NVI’s statistics show that the overwhelming majority of mail-in votes, 247,957, went to the Fidesz-KDNP party list, or 93.9% of the total. 10,820 of these votes were for the joint opposition United for Hungary, while Our Homeland received 2,789 votes.
Hungarian citizens outside of the country’s borders who do not have a permanent address in Hungary, the majority of whom live in neighboring Romania and Serbia, can only vote for the party list ballot, not in individual electoral districts.
NVI scans in its mail-in ballots for a preliminary count of the national list votes, then counts the votes manually for a final result. NVI is also working on aggregating the mail-in ballots for the national referendum.
The mail-in voting process has not gone without controversy this year. A few days before the start of the April 3 election, a number of filled-out, partially-burned ballots were found dumped on the side of the road near Târgu Mureş, Romania.
In addition, a Danish NGO observing mail-in voting in Cluj, Romania found several irregularies in the voting process there, characterizing the entire process as “generally poor to differing degrees.” [HVG]