CHP Istanbul Deputies Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Barış Yarkadaş have urged the GNAT to form a Parliament Research Commission in order to have a transparent referendum.
The two deputies who wanted to “form a Parliament Research Commission in order to have a transparent, fair and overt voting period away from any kind of depravement and also in order to create a base to sustain reliability, accuracy and inspection mechanism by other parties” have explained their reasons why it is necessary to create such a commission by saying:
Supreme Election Committee’s Election Informatics System (SEÇSİS)
The New Constitution Referendum elections in Turkey take place under the scrutiny of the Supreme Election Committee (YSK). YSK, follows where the voters are registered and gathers the results of public votes through a system called SEÇSİS. SEÇSİS has two main objectives and fields of practice. To check the voters registration and to monitor the votes for the new Constitution Referendum. The first field of practice is to keep up-to-date records for the voters’ identities based on their TIN’s (Turkish Identity Number) and the correct addresses they reside at. SEÇSİS’s second field of practice to gather public’s votes from each district and transfer it to the YSK center and share the results with the public as well as other political parties.
The situations where there are repeating electors, wrong informations (an elector at the age of 170 for example), electoral rolls getting cancelled without notifying the voters or someone else being registered at the same address unbeknownst to the actual resident, are situations that are unacceptable that overshadow a reliable referendum.
YSK is obligated to oversee that the voters’ informations are correct, transparent and up-to-date. In order for having a transparent Constitution Referendum phase, it is necessary that electoral rolls within the Central Civil Registration System (KPS) and Address Record System (AKS) are updated, checked, their inspections are reported and the reports are published. It is also necessary to share publicly how the electoral rolls have been established, on what date and by whom they were updated and how they were inspected before the Constitution Referendum takes place.
The voter list that is made public before the Constitution Referendum voting takes place, should be the finalized version. In order for political parties to actively monitor electoral rolls, the transferred voters, added voters, young voters that would vote for the first time, voters that had an address change must be clearly specified. It is important to allow the law enforcement officials to confirm the address changes for citizens who have moved away. It would be a preventive and dissuasive precaution to not allow people to move away unless they have cancelled their electricity, natural gas and water subscriptions. YSK should confirm the addresses of the citizens through their electricity, water, natural gas records, social welfare they collect from the government or Social Security Institution’s records.
Transferring ballot box results to YSK
The fundamental principle to calculate and inspect the results for the Constitution Referendum is to have an official report for ballot box results with a wet-ink signature. Official reports with wet-ink signatures for the ballot boxes can be uploaded online through SEÇSİS, and results can be simultaneously transferred to the YSK center and the same results could be shared with every political party that are present through the voting phase of the Constitution Referendum. The process that takes place until the wet-inked official ballot box report is uploaded to the SEÇSİS is preformed entirely manually and can’t be interfered by information technologies. There are mainly two doubts regarding the wet-inked official ballot box reports to be uploaded to SEÇSİS. First one is that ballot box reports are altered with or entered to the system delinquently. Second one is that reports might be changed.
Irregularities happen at this point
The official ballot box reports that are singed by wet-ink are the first established records of the voting results. The irregularities, objections, allegations take place before the wet-inked ballot box reports and vote bags are delivered to the district election council. It is a requisite in order to have a healthy Constitution Referendum that ballot box reports are scanned and published. It is pivotal to establish a safe voting environment that ballot sheets and envelopes are barcoded, checked and inspected. To create a safe environment for the transportation of the ballot sheets, the ballot box chief, and individuals that are tasked by three (3) political parties that received the most votes should be very cautious in preforming this task when getting the ballots to the district election councils. Mutual protection should continue until the results are taken to the district election councils and combination reports are arranged.
A research commission should be established
The GNAT should assemble a research commission to oversee YSK, so that the commission can guarantee the activities performed, inspect YSK and identify possible problems in order to hold a Constitution Referendum in an environment of peace, trust, transparency, fairness and openness.