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Around 30,000 have signed up as opposition ballot counters

picture of Hungarian polling station

A total of 30,000 people have now registered as opposition delegates to ballot counting committees for Hungary’s elections on April 3, reported Népszava from data provided by civic group Twenty-Thousand for a Clean Election in 2022 (20k22).

However, the official numbers are currently less than this, as Népszava points out that not all of those who have registered as ballot counters will be able to carry out the duties involved.

“Candidates and nominating organizations” had delegated a total of 15,000 ballot counters by last Friday, and the National Election Office stated that they “could exercise their rights after they take an oath or vow.” This Friday is the deadline to set up official ballot-counting delegations.

20k22, supported by the six opposition party coalition, set a goal of finding at least two people for all of Hungary’s 10,243 electoral districts that could be designated as ballot counters for the opposition, and who will monitor the voting process as it takes place on election day.

[Telex]

More opposition ballot counters still needed for the 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]

Opposition initiative on track to provide 20,000 ballot counters

picture of people voting

More than 15,000 people have already registered to be ballot counters in next year’s Parliamentary elections, Zsolt Molnár told ATV Híradó. The politician from the Hungarian Socialist Party sees progress towards attaining their goal of 20,000 ballot counters by the time elections roll around.

In the previous election in 2018, there were either too few or no ballot counters in a significant number of electoral districts. As a result, the opposition parties are now making efforts to have at least two counters in each district next spring through the Twenty-Thousand for a Clean Election in 2022 (20k22) initiative.

The goal of the 20k22 initiative is to “prevent electoral abuses and irregularities” and promote joint recruitment, training, and delegation of ballot counting applicants in the six-party coalition. The ballot counters will provide a tally of possibly election incidents as well as an alternative aggregation of electoral results.

[Magyar Hang]

Civil initiative aims to get 20,000 opposition ballot counters for elections

picture of a person with a ballot

Nearly ten thousand people have already signed up as ballot counters for the 2022 Parliamentary elections as part of the Twenty-Thousand for a Clean Election in 2022 (20k22) initiative, writes 24.hu.

20k22 is a civil initiative supported by the six opposition party coalition, with the goal of finding at least two people in every electoral district in the country who can be designated by the opposition coalition as ballot counters.

According to the article, no single party in the last decade has been able to send 20,000 ballot counters to an election, not even ruling parties Fidesz-KDNP. In 2018, opposition parties were able to send out 15,150 ballot counters, yet one out of 10 electoral districts didn’t have a single ballot counter represented from the opposition.

A 20k22 spokesperson, Csilla Ruskal-Klemm, told the news source that the situation was even “worse” during the 2019 European elections, as three-quarters of electoral districts with fewer than 500 inhabitants did not have a single ballot counter sent by the opposition parties at all.

Recruitment for the effort was launched together with opposition primary elections. Their goal is 20,000, but 30,000 ballot counters would be preferable so that there are reserves in case any drop out at the last minute.

[HVG] [Photo: a person holds up a ballot during ballot counting training]