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No and Beyond releases election report: Dead people voted!

The report released by No and Beyond into the 16 April referendum has brought a scandal to light. Included in the report is the finding that a vote was cast at ballot box number 2179 in Eyyübiye sub-province for the citizen named E.E. who passed away in Urfa on 31 March 2017.
Yayınlanma tarihi: 27 Nisan 2017 Perşembe, 09:49

Here are the key points from No and Beyond’s press conference:
Following the events of the evening of 16 April, we realised that our job had not ended, or indeed had restarted. There are many abnormalities in the poll. In 2010, Gülen said, ‘Get people out of graves and get them to vote “yes”.’ We have also established that the votes of dead people were cast in this referendum. We have established that more votes were cast than there were voters at some ballot boxes. A vote was cast on 16 April for the citizen named E.E. who passed away in Urfa’s Eyyübiye on 31 March.
At certain ballot boxes, opposition votes in excess of 180 on 7 June and 1 November vanished on 16 April. The Supreme Election Council (SEC) breached the rule that, ‘unstamped votes are invalid.’ The examples purporting to show that it has happened before were on an individual level. In these cases, four or five votes were not stamped. Millions of votes were unstamped. This is to the pave the way for all kinds of impropriety.
In some places, ‘spare voting slips’ were involved in place of citizens who did not go to vote. Telephone calls poured in from Muş and Urfa. People say they were removed from the ballot box area while votes were being counted.
The annulment of the 16 April 2017 Constitutional Amendment Referendum is an unavoidable necessity in legal terms. The rule that ‘procedure comes before the merits’ was annihilated with the casting of unstamped votes. This is murder of the law.
NO AND BEYOND’S REPORT INTO THE 16 APRIL 2017 CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM
No and Beyond is an independent citizens’ organisation formed to prevent potential improprieties that might occur in the 16 April 2017 referendum and it focussed its efforts on ballot box security.
• No and Beyond, which received applications from volunteers in nearly 50 provinces, served during the 16 April 2017 referendum at and in the environment of ballot boxes with its 15,000 volunteers consisting of witnesses, building administrators, lawyers and its coordination and support team.
• No and Beyond produced all its documents relating to training and statutory legislation in-house together with its jurist volunteers; it trained its own trainers and held nearly 300 witness training meetings in more than thirty sub-provinces, chiefly in all sub-provinces of Istanbul and in the big cities.
• No and Beyond developed its field organisation, the infrastructure it used for data entry and assessment and all programs and applications in-house together with its software specialist volunteers.
• No and Beyond volunteers set up offices chiefly in central locations in big cities, conducted stall activities at hundreds of points and distributed over 300,000 information brochures and materials.
• No and Beyond’s internal communication and social media accounts were set up and managed by volunteers.
• Training kits, brochures and videos and all printed/digital materials used for promotional and information purposes were filled with content and designed through No and Beyond volunteers’ collective work.
• No and Beyond volunteers documented the records for 25% of the votes cast in the 16 April referendum and collated the results in its infrastructure.
• No and Beyond compared by means of its own electronic infrastructure the Supreme Election Council’s data with results it collected from the field and affiliated groups.
• No and Beyond, over and above comparing data, collected in documentary form objections and interventions made through the intermediation of its volunteers and lawyers over improprieties experienced on the day of the referendum, and reported on these, assessing them along with events that came to public knowledge.
LEADING FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS ON THE REFERENDUM
We put in long hours saying, ‘Ballot Boxes are Safe with Us’ in the work we conducted over two months.
In connection with the Constitutional Amendment Referendum held on Sunday 16 April, record data that came from our volunteers who took charge of security and currently covers around 25% of the total votes cast has been recorded into No and Beyond’s data system.
The ballot box result records bearing wet signatures that were obtained by No and Beyond volunteers and have been entered into the data system have been examined one by one and the following findings have been made by assessing them along with the Supreme Election Council’s data.
BLOCK ‘YES’ VOTE FROM 961 BALLOT BOXES
In Supreme Election Council data, at 961 ballot boxes chiefly in Şanlıurfa’s Akçakale, Viranşehir and Hilvan, and Muş’s Hasköy, Yozgat’s Çekerek and Sakarya’s Akyazı sub-provinces, the entirety of the votes cast, that is 100%, had the stamp applied to ‘YES’ and the number of votes on which the stamp was applied to ‘NO’ and as a percentage was ZERO.
Example Ballot Boxes where the Finding Holds:
Muş Centre ballot box no 1171
Şanlıurfa Harran ballot box no 1122
Şanlıurfa Harran ballot box no 1092
Şanlıurfa Eyyübiye ballot box no 2087
Şanlıurfa Viranşehir ballot box no 1262
Şanlıurfa Haliliye ballot box no 2042
Şanlıurfa Akçakale ballot box no 1005
Şanlıurfa Akçakale ballot box no 1129
Şanlıurfa Viranşehir ballot box no 1023
Şanlıurfa Akçakale ballot box no 1099
Şanlıurfa Eyyübiye ballot box no 2161
Şanlıurfa Harran ballot box no 1107
Şanlıurfa Haliliye ballot box no 2276
Şanlıurfa Siverek ballot box no 1321
This result from the ballot boxes in question which were discovered to have a not inconsiderable number of opposition party voters in the 7 June and 1 November General Elections has been deemed anomalous.
AT 7,048 BALLOT BOXES THE NUMBER WHO VOTED WAS EQUAL TO OR IN EXCESS OF THE NUMBER OF VOTERS
It has been established that at 7,048 ballot boxes, the number of votes cast was equal to the number of voters at the ballot box in question or, when account was taken of those on duty at the ballot box, the total of the number of voters and ballot box officials was higher than this. On top of this, more votes than there were voters were cast at 2,397 of these ballot boxes.
The total number of votes cast at the ballot boxes in question was 1,672,249. Of these votes, 60.7% were cast in favour of ‘YES’.
When consideration is also given to the earlier findings about block voting, it is felt that the suspicion that ‘YES’ votes were later cast on behalf of voters who did not go to the poll is a possibility that cannot be overlooked and requires detailed investigation.
It is impossible for none of the total 1,672,249 people not to have lost their lives since the date of 10 March 2017 on which the list of voters became final or not to have been serving as privates/non-commissioned officers.
Indeed, it has been established that our citizen named E.E. with the date of birth of 01.01.1942 registered at ballot box number 2179 in Şanlıurfa’s Eyyübiye sub-province passed away on 31 March 2017.
This data that has been attained using a narrow sample over a very short period and under conditions in which we were unable to obtain civil registry data creates the suspicion that there are many more events that need investigating.
VANISHING NO-SUPPORTING PARTY VOTERS
Ballot boxes were detected that had a not inconsiderable number of opposition party voters in 1 November 2015 General Elections but at which a 95% ‘YES’ vote emerged in the 16 April 2017 referendum and comparisons were made with voting behaviour in previous elections.
As will be apparent from the comparative data submitted below, this situation that has the potential to fundamentally affect the outcome of the poll points to a serious situation that goes well beyond voting slips being stamped/unstamped.

Examinations Made at Certain Ballot Boxes which Produced a ‘YES’ vote of 95% or More

POLLING PLACE

7 JUNE 2015

HDP+CHP

1 NOVEMBER2015

HDP+CHP

16 APRIL 2017

NO

HAKKARİ/ŞEMDİNLİ

KONUR VILLAGE

442

263

16

MARDİN/KIZILTEPE

YUKARI AZIKLI VILLAGE

314

269

1

ŞANLIURFA/VİRANŞEHİR

GÖZLEK VILLAGE

188

110

0

AĞRI/PATNOS

DEDELİ ÜZÜMLÜ VILLAGE

69

67

2

ŞANLIURFA/CEYLANPINAR

AKBULUT VILLAGE

132

104

4

Examinations Made at Certain Ballot Boxes which Produced a ‘YES’ vote of 95% or More

POLLING PLACE

7 JUNE 2015

HDP+CHP

1 NOVEMBER2015

HDP+CHP

16 APRIL 2017

NO

ŞANLIURFA/HİLVAN

SÖĞÜTLÜ VILLAGE

88

50

0

MUŞ/HASKÖY

KOĞUKTAŞ VILLAGE

92

47

0

MARDİN/KIZILTEPE

ALAKUŞ VILLAGE

222

122

10

AĞRI/PATNOS

ÜRKÜT VILLAGE

305

228

13


HAS THE REFERENDUM LOST ITS LEGITIMACY?
• The Supreme Election Council announced under a resolution it published in the course of the poll that ‘unstamped voting slips that could not be proven to have brought in from the outside’ would be deemed valid. This lead to a blatant breach of the provision laid down definitively in the election law that votes cast with unstamped slips and envelopes will be cancelled.
• The SEC Chair stated that this situation had also come into play in previous elections and they had accepted the objection made by the AKP. But, it has emerged that in the same referendum votes cast on unstamped slips were annulled on objection by the AKP at ballot box no 472 abroad.
• At countless ballot boxes, stamps reading ‘YES’ instead of ‘PREFERENCE’ were put into use and, even if changes were made on objection at certain ballot boxes, votes cast with such stamps were deemed valid in their entirety.
Although the decision that ‘PREFERENCE’ stamps would be used had been announced by the SEC months before the referendum and all polling stations were notified, absolutely no action has been taken over officials who put into use these stamps that clearly prompted a ‘YES’ vote and were misleading.
• Especially in eastern and southeastern provinces, the principle of ‘Secret Voting - Open Counting’ was turned into ‘Open Voting - Secret Counting’ and armed security forces blatantly interfered with citizens casting votes. For example, in Muş province Hasköy sub-province Dağdibi village, the individual named Rıdvan Işık, despite being a polling official at ballot box number 1031, participated at the poll with a long-barrelled weapon, took photographs of citizens as they were voting and posted these on social media along with an image of the polling record. At the ballot box in question, 290 of 292 valid votes were recorded as being ‘YES’. In the 1 November elections, the distribution of votes at this ballot box was AKP 108, CHP 3 and HDP 109.
• Thousands of instances have been uncovered of voting outside polling stations, stamps and slips passing from hand to hand and votes being disclosed or disclosure being required.
• More than 200 construction workers who are working in Muğla’s Datça sub-province were unable to go and vote in their home province of Urfa 1200 km away, yet all votes were reportedly cast at the ballot box where they are registered.
• Images have been made in nearly all cities of slips, stamps and envelopes of uncertain origin and it has been clearly established that thousands of people were involved in impropriety.
THE KEY TO THE IMPROPRIETY: SPARE SLIPS
• Explanation must be given of how it was possible for countless numbers of slips that the SEC had had printed to pass from hand to hand in an uncontrolled manner outside statutorily specified polling areas in the poll.
• Light must be shed on claims that absolutely identical slips that had been prepared for the 2014 presidential elections in case the second round was only contestable by one candidate were used in this referendum.
• According to the SEC Chair’s announcement, 73 million slips including spares that the YSK had arranged to be printed in accordance with the regulations were sent in an equal ratio to each polling station. Prior information was sent to Ankara Semi-Open Penal Institute where the slips were packaged and dispatched as to the number of spare slips that would be sent to each station and those to which none would be sent.
• It has been concluded that the said spare slips were sent in large numbers to areas where opposition parties were unable to monitor the poll, or were prevented from doing so. The opinion predominates that in these areas overwhelming ‘YES’ results were engineered at ballot boxes through the intervention of polling committees and AKP organisations.
• The Supreme Election Council, by changing the format of polling records in the name of ‘simplification’ two weeks prior to the poll, made it impossible to monitor spare voting slips. As such, this points to the extent of the impropriety being more than 18 million votes. The Supreme Election Council must urgently account for the fate and numbers of spare voting slips.
LAWS WERE BROKEN
The Supreme Election Council’s justified decision posted at ysk.gov.tr dated 16.04.2017 is legally non-existent.
In the SEC’s justified decision, the rejection of the well-founded objections over matters such as unstamped slips and envelopes is explained by saying, ‘In cases in which it is established that the right granted to the individual has not been exercised in a reliable manner, it is impossible to interpret a breach of one of the procedural provisions that are a means for protecting the exercising of the right in a manner that eliminates the essence of the right.’
This explanation by the SEC is murder of the law from two viewpoints:
1. Articles 98 and 101 of the Law on Basic Electoral Provisions and Voter Registers Number 298 make clear in a manner that leaves no room for doubt that unstamped voting slips and envelopes must be deemed invalid. The said articles are of an imperative nature. For the SEC to circumvent through interpretation dozens of decisions it has itself passed in the matter, law number 298 and landmark Constitutional Court rulings and rule them to be valid constitutes a scandal from the viewpoint of Turkish legal history.
2. The principle that ‘Procedure comes before the merits’ that has been in use since the Ottoman Civil Code is one of the of the basic planks of the Turkish legal system. The use of unstamped envelopes in the referendum held on constitutional change on 16 April 2017 has produced a massive flaw in terms of whether the will of the electorate prevailed. It is unknown if fraud was committed through unstamped envelopes or slips that defeated the will of the electorate and, moreover, the SEC does not even perceive the need for this matter to be investigated.
Procedure is important for this reason and the SEC is not an institution that is incapable of knowing this.
IN CONCLUSION
The main opposition party’s objection to two and a half million votes citing unstamped slips has been thrown out by the SEC.
With even this situation on its own sufficient to warrant the referendum being annulled, when it is taken in conjunction with the other facts we have set out above, the deeming of the 16 April 2017 referendum invalid is unavoidable from all conceivable legal standpoints.
The constitutional referendum of 16 April 2017 was held with the largest electoral fraud in history concocted from top to bottom through the intermediation throughout the country of the ruling party and Supreme Election Board.
It is the right of all citizens for elections and referendums, considered to be one of the foundation stones of democracy in our country, to be held sanitised of all manner of impropriety and doubt and with full confidence in the poll.
It is blatantly obvious that this right was not put in place and this vindicates the demand for the annulment and repetition of the referendum.
This is the conclusion that the ballot box security work we conducted with thousands of volunteers throughout the country leads to.

Cumhuriyet İMECESİ