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ANALYSIS OF THE BALLOT BOX RESULT PROTOCOLS OF

EARLY PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, 1 NOVEMBER 2015

Ankarann Oylar (Ballots of Ankara, AO in short) has been analyzing the polling station result protocols
thoroughly since the general local electionsof 2014. The analysis of AO focuses on reviewing the result
protocols, on which the Supreme Board of Elections (SBE) bases the official results of the election.
The analysis is based on a sample of 1,033 ballot boxes that were selected from the universe of 174,648
domestic ballot boxes via stratified random sampling method. The ballot boxes have been stratified
according to NUTS1 level 2 regions, and then, sample ballot boxes from each stratum have randomly been
selected. The sample represents the population of domestic ballot boxes at a confidence level of 95%
within a margin of error 3+/-. The political parties in the sample have got the following rates: AKP 50.5%,
CHP 24.8%, MHP 12.1%, and HDP 10.1%. The results of the election for the political parties in domestic
ballot boxes, on the other hand, are respectively as in the following according to Anadolu Agency2: 49.3% 25.6% - 12% - 10.5%. According to this data, it is possible to say that sampling error is less than 3+/- in
terms of results of all ballot boxes.
AO analysis is about how accurately the rules specified in the electoral law and related circulars are
reflected to the result protocols. As a result of the analyses that we have been making in four grand
elections for the last two years, we see that the result protocols are mostly completed in a carelessly
without complying with the rules stated in the election regulations. We believe that decreasing
bureaucracy of reporting and establishing a simple, but strictly rule bound result reporting system will
significantly contribute to election safety. 98% of the sample that we have analyzed has at least one of the
defects such as inconsistency of sums, missing stamps, erroneous justifications for invalid voting and etc.
We have not encountered any defects for only in 24 of 1,033 protocols that were analyzed.
1

Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statisticsexplained/index.php/Glossary:Nomenclature_of_territorial_units_for_statistics_%28NUTS%29


2
The official results were declared after this report had been drafted.

Ankarann Oylar (Ballots of Ankara)


Analysis Of The Ballot Box Result Protocols Of
Early Parliamentary Elections, 1 November 2015

1. 15%* of the result protocols are unstamped although it is stipulated in the regulations that the result
protocols are signed and stamped by the head of the ballot box committee. This was also found to be 21%
in our previous analysis of the presidential election in 2014, again conducted based on a national sample of
ballot boxes. An official result protocol bearing a stamp confirms that authorized people completed the
protocol. Therefore, it is required that the stamps bearing information on the ballot box number and the
name of the district should be legible and consistent with the ballot box data. The district names on 76% of
the stamps and ballot box numbers on 92% of the stamps are illegible. As is, it is de facto pointless to use
stamps having such size and quality. There are different ballot box numbers in the stamps of 16 protocols
(2% of all protocols), which we have identified among legible stamps.
2. In average, 5.6 ballot box committee members (including the presidents) have served: 4 members
have served in 9% of the ballot boxes, 5 in 35%, 6 in 39%, and 7 in 17%. It has been detected that in a
ballot box only the head of a ballot box committee undersigned the protocol, in another only three
members undersigned. According to regulations it is required that at least four members are there to start
and finish vote casting.

The signature section of the result protocol of the ballot box zmir_ili_1316. If a protocol bearing only the signature of the head of
the ballot box committee can be delivered to the District Election Council, what is the point of undersigning result protocols? Or if
the stamp on the record is illegible, what is the point of stamping the protocols?

3. Almost one-third of result protocols (27%) were amended. It has been found out that the committee
members have not put their initials on the amendments in three-fourths of the amended protocols.
4. The total number of voters who casted votes (cell nr.3), which is identified through counting the number
of signatures after they cast their votes, is supposed to be the sum of the number of voters who are
registered to the ballot box voter list (cell nr.1), and the number of voters who are not registered to the
ballot box voter list, but casting votes -through submitting a document provided by the SBE- pursuant to the
law (cell nr. 2),. This is not the case in 8% of the protocols; the sums are either wrong or left blank.
5. The total number of voters who casted votes (cell nr.3), and the total number of envelopes in the ballot
boxes (cell nr.4) should be equal. Nonetheless, the total number of voters which is supposed to be found
by counting the number of signatures in the attendance sheet and the number of envelopes, which is
supposed to be found after vote casting by counting the envelopes in the ballot box, do not match in
10% of the protocols. Regulations say that it is required to randomly select and invalidate the exceeding

Ankarann Oylar (Ballots of Ankara)


Analysis Of The Ballot Box Result Protocols Of
Early Parliamentary Elections, 1 November 2015

number of envelopes, when the number of envelopes is more than the number of voters according to the
rules. However the rule was not applied according to protocols.
6. The ballot box committees have to record the envelopes and the ballot papers that are received from
the District Board of Election but remained as unused. The difference between these two should be equal
to the number of voters who casted votes. Nonetheless, the used envelopes at 10% and the used ballot
papers at 13% of all ballot boxes in the sample are not consistent with the number of the voters who
casted votes.
7. When the votes are counted, the ballot papers bearing objections from ballot box committee members
are required to put aside in order to be reevaluated after the vote count is finished. The total number of
valid ballot papers (cell nr.9) consists of the number of valid ballot papers to which no objection is raised
(cell nr. 7) and the number of ballot papers considered to be valid upon objection or included into count (cell
nr.8). In 12% of the result protocols the totals are either inconsistent or insufficiently completed or left
blank.
8. The number of used ballot papers and the number of votes received by the candidate should be equal. In
5% of the protocols, the total number of valid ballot papers and the total number of votes received by
political party and independent candidates are inconsistent.
9. The total number of valid envelopes (cell nr.6) and the total number of invalid envelopes (cell nr. 10)
should be equal to the number of voters who casted votes, and if there are more envelopes than the
number of voters who casted votes in a ballot box, the difference should be highlighted in the form cell
dedicated for this purpose. In 20% of the protocols the equation cannot be validated either misreporting
or cells left completely blank.
10. The total number of ballot papers that are considered as invalid and not included into the count (cell
nr.14) should be equal to the number of envelopes that are considered as invalid (cell nr.10), the number of
envelopes with no ballot paper (cell nr. 11), and the number of ballot papers that are considered as invalid
and not included into the count(cell nr.12). The totals are misreported in 20% of the result protocols.
11. The total number of valid ballot papers (cell nr. 9) and the total number of ballot papers that are
considered as invalid or not included into the count (cell nr.14) should be equal to the number of voters who
casted votes (cell nr.3). Nonetheless, this equation does not exist in 5% of the ballot boxes, due to
misreporting.
12. At least 1 invalid envelope is recorded in 18% of the protocols. The justifications for invalidity have not
been written appropriately in 80% of the result protocols, for which invalid envelope was recorded. The
justification has been written on the wrong cell in 37% of the protocols. For example, the justification

Ankarann Oylar (Ballots of Ankara)


Analysis Of The Ballot Box Result Protocols Of
Early Parliamentary Elections, 1 November 2015

related to invalidity of the ballot paper is reported for the justification of invalid envelope. The cell for the
justicications is left blank in 12% of the protocols. For example, there are expressions such as wrong cast
of vote as well as records where the justification does not express any reason. In 9% of the protocols it is
not possible to separate number of violations according to types due to global reporting.**
13. Invalid ballot paper (at least one) is recorded in 83% of the result protocols. The justifications for
invalidity have not been written appropriately in 53% of the result protocols, for which invalid ballot paper
is recorded. No justification has been written although invalid ballot paper was recorded in 16% of the
result protocols. There are wrong records that should not be written in this section in 1% of the result
protocols. The justifications in %18 of the records are vague. In example, there are expressions such as
wrong use, repeating, double seal and etc. as well as records where the justification does not express
any reason at all. The justifications in 21% of the records cannot be distinguished, and it is not possible to
understand why and how many ballot papers are invalidated. **
14. This has been made in 12% of the result protocols that are not included into the count. If any item
other than the ballot paper of the related election is found in the envelope, although there is no defect on
the ballot paper, these votes are not included into the count. The justifications for invalidity have not been
written appropriately in 91% of the result protocols for which ballot paper that is not included into the
count is recorded. No justification has been written although ballot paper that is not included into the
count was recorded in 64% of the result protocols. There are wrong records that should not be written in
this section in 55% of the result protocols. The justifications in %15 of the records are vague. The
justifications in 13% of the records cannot be distinguished, and it is not possible to understand why and
how many ballot papers are not included into the count. **
15. There are inconsistencies in comparison of the result protocols and the SBEs data. Taking into
consideration that the official data is retrieved from the result protocols (i.e. copies submitted to SBE), it
has been detected that the numbers of voters who casted votes and number of valid votes are inconsistent
in 1% of the result protocols.
16. There are small increases in violation of the rules when compared to the presidential election. AO has
made the same analysis by reviewing all result protocols of 2014 local elections and of June 2015
parliamentary elections in Ankara electoral districts and through national sampling for 2014 presidential
elections and November 2015 parliamentary elections. The following table provides opportunity to
compare our findings between 2014 presidential elections and November 2015 parliamentary elections
both based on national sampling. There are small increases in violation of the rules in comparison with the
presidential elections.

Ankarann Oylar (Ballots of Ankara)


Analysis Of The Ballot Box Result Protocols Of
Early Parliamentary Elections, 1 November 2015

Indicator
Share of unstamped result protocols
Share of amended result protocols
Share of amendments without initials
Share of Inconsistency*** [number of voters who
casted votes = number of voters registered to
ballot box voter list + number of voters who are
not registered to the list, but casted votes
pursuant to the law]
Share of Inconsistency [total number of voters
who casted votes = total number of envelopes in
the ballot box]
Share of Inconsistency [number of voters who
casted votes = number of used envelopes]
Share of Inconsistency [umber of voters who
casted votes = number of used ballot papers]
Share of Inconsistency [Total number of valid
ballot papers = number of ballots considered as
valid without objection + number of ballot papers
considered as valid upon objection or included
into count]
Share of Inconsistency [used ballot papers =
ballots received by the candidates]
Share of Inconsistency [number of voters who
casted votes = valid envelopes + invalid envelopes]
Share of Inconsistency [total number of ballot
papers considered as invalid and not included into
the count = number of envelopes considered as
invalid + number of envelopes in which ballot
paper was absent, number of ballot papers
considered invalid + number of ballot papers that
are not included into the count]
Share of Inconsistency [number of voters who
casted votes = total number of valid ballot papers
+ ballot papers considered as invalid and not
included into the count]

2014 Presidential
Elections
21%
26%
69%

Share of Result protocols on which Invalid


Envelope is recorded

Early
Parliamentary
Elections Nov.
2015

Variation (in
percentage)
15%
27%
74%

-6%
1%
5%

7%

8%

1%

4%

10%

6%

9%

10%

1%

11%

13%

2%

9%

12%

3%

5%

5%

0%

17%

20%

3%

22%

20%

-2%

5%

5%

0%

27%

18%

-9%

Ankarann Oylar (Ballots of Ankara)


Analysis Of The Ballot Box Result Protocols Of
Early Parliamentary Elections, 1 November 2015

In the Result protocols on which Invalid Envelope


is recorded
Share of result protocols including invalid
envelope justification that is not written
appropriately
Share of result protocols on which
justification is not written although there
is an invalid envelope record
Share of result protocols on which
justification is written in the wrong place
Share of result protocols on which
justification is left blank
Share of result protocols on which types
of violation cannot be separated in
justifications

74%

80%

6%

26%

26%

0%

33%

37%

4%

11%

12%

1%

7%

9%

2%

85%

83%

-2%

49%

53%

4%

14%

16%

2%

1%

1%

0%

11%

18%

7%

23%

21%

-2%

Share of Result protocols on which Ballot Paper


that is not included into the account is recorded

19%

12%

-7%

In the Result protocols on which Ballot Paper that


is not included into the account is recorded...
Share of result protocols including invalid
ballot paper justification that is not

67%

91%

24%

Share of Result protocols on which Invalid Ballot


Paper is recorded
In the Result protocols on which Invalid Ballot
Paper is recorded
Share of result protocols including invalid
ballot paper justification that is not
written appropriately
Share of result protocols on which
justification is not written although there
is an invalid ballot paper record
Share of result protocols on which
justification is written in the wrong
section
Share of result protocols on which
justification is left blank
Share of result protocols on which types
of violation cannot be separated in
justifications

Ankarann Oylar (Ballots of Ankara)


Analysis Of The Ballot Box Result Protocols Of
Early Parliamentary Elections, 1 November 2015

written appropriately
Share of result protocols on which
justification is not written although ballot
paper that is not included into the
account is recorded
Share of result protocols on which
justification is written in the wrong
section
Share of result protocols on which
justification is left blank
Share of result protocols on which types
of violation cannot be separated in
justifications

16%

64%

48%

33%

55%

22%

11%

15%

4%

11%

13%

2%

* The rates are rounded off whole numbers.


** As some of the result protocols include more than one defect at the same time, totals can be over 100%.
*** In the table, inconsistency rates show the ratio of the result protocols, where required conditions
stated in square brackets, to all records.