By Gurbetin Oylari, Special for USDR
As Turkey is preparing for the 26th Turkish General Parliamentary Elections on November 1st, Turkish Citizens living abroad will be casting their votes at 113 ballot points between the dates of October 8th – 25th, 2015.
A list of international ballot locations along with voting schedule in each country is available at this link: goo.gl/hJUhVb . Turkish Citizens who are registered at the Turkish Expat Ballot Registryhttps://goo.gl/ubKw1y will be able to participate. The list of customs gates established for expat voters between the dates October 8th – November 1st can be reached at goo.gl/OGHjqH .
As Gurbetin Oylari (Expat Votes), our mission is to encourage Turkish expats to participate in the Turkish elections by voting and safeguarding the ballots, thus contribute to a fair, non-partisan, transparent and secure election process.
We are a non-partisan platform comprised of Turkish expats from across the world, and have been working as a volunteer grassroots community since Turkish citizens abroad gained the right to vote abroad for the first time in the 2014 Presidential Elections. Currently, we are active in Germany, the U.S.A., Australia, Canada, Austria, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Bosnia, Finland, France, the Netherlands, England, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Northern Cyprus, Norway and Poland. Besides encouraging Turkish citizens to vote and to contribute to election safety by monitoring the process, Gurbetin Oylari, aims to ensure the necessary information flow for Gurbetin Oylari volunteers to become ballot security volunteers. We work toward a fair and transparent election process by raising awareness on issues related to election safety through social media. We develop online training programs for volunteers, monitor the ballot locations across the world and also in Ankara (where expat votes are opened and counted), interrupt and record any irregularities observed during the voting or ballot counting process, and analyze ballot records. Our report on the 25th General Parliamentary Elections can be viewed at: http://goo.gl/vmuQ73
There are currently over 2,8 million Turkish citizens registered abroad that make up 5% of the total number of voters . Recent studies highlight that the votes abroad have become ever more potent, as a slight variation in participation and votes can make a major difference. The expat votes can be the final determining factor for parties at the edge of the electoral threshold or in swing cities, considering the expat votes are distributed to the entire country based on the electoral chairs each city holds in the congress. Moreover, ballot security and ballot record analysis is an especially crucial issue for expat ballots because these ballots are cast at 113 different locations across the world but they are not opened where they are cast. The sealed expat ballots are transferred to Ankara, where they are all opened and counted at the Ankara Trade Center on the day of the elections in Turkey. Our video: http://goo.gl/tmLqPH provides further information on the ballot record analysis that the Gurbetin Oylari volunteers have been conducting for the past 2 years.
SOURCE Gurbetin Oylari