Home > Voting procedures > TURKEY - Joint Opinion on Amendments to the Electoral Legislation and Related "Harmonisation Laws" Adopted in March and April 2018
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Paragraph 54

Article 5 of the Law on Basic Provisions on Elections and Voter Registers now includes a provision that: “Voters who live in the same building might be registered in the different polling station zones, provided that the integrity of the households is preserved, and they remain in the same electoral constituency.” The authorities justify this provision in the name of protecting the secrecy of the vote. This was a controversial issue in the 2018 elections as stakeholders were concerned that the new provision was aimed at allowing fraudulent voting to take place (e.g. deceased voters to be registered) combined with the difficulty for parties, voters and observers to control the voter lists, if voters from the same building were split up. Other concerns raised were the distance of voters from the polling stations if buildings were split up. On the face of it, the provision is not problematic, but there is room for the provision to be misused for political gain. If there is public mistrust, there should be strict, clear and objective legal criteria for its application, and the procedure and criteria for the decision to divide a building’s residents into different polling stations should be transparent. The Venice Commission and ODIHR recommend that this provision be reconsidered and voters who live in the same building be registered only in the same polling station zone.