METHODOLOGY AND IRREGULARITIES
The Unhack Democracy Europe team conducted its first investigation into the April 2018 Hungarian parliamentary elections. Over the course of a year we uncovered new evidence of widespread vote-rigging. This clear pattern raises urgent concerns about the integrity of European Parliamentary elections and this autumn’s municipal polls.
Testimonies from more than a hundred sixty polling station officials have revealed the illegal bussing of voters, outright vote buying, voter intimidation, interference in the country process, and post vote tampering.
Unhack Democracy Europe partnered with Netzwerk Politische Kommunikation (netPOL), an international academic political communications network to complete the qualitative research on the work of over 160 ballot counting officers at the 2018 general elections in Hungary. Hungarian election law does not allow civil observers at elections and requires political parties to recruit volunteers to work on election day at polling stations and count ballots.
The first part of the research included an online questionnaire for which we received responses from about 110 people and 10 face to face interviews. The second part of the research included over 40 interviews in selected precincts with one of the following irregularities:
· High void rate
· Missing or extra ballots
· Ukrainian border precincts
· High ticket splitting rate
Data analysis has raised questions about inconsistencies in the number of eligible voters, missing absentee ballots and suspicious ticket-splitting in swing constituencies.
We analysed data scraped from Hungary’s official election website valasztas.hu, ranking each of the 10285 precincts’ voter logs where the highest rate of missing and extra ballots occurred. We calculate the missing absentee envelope figures from all 1,700+ pages on individual precincts where domestic absentee voters cast votes.
We also uncovered widespread inconsistencies between screenshots taken from the months leading up to the election, copies of the numbers of eligible voters taken from the official online archive and monitoring data from the OSCE.
Our research, which also pulls together local press reports from Hungary, Serbia and Romania for the first time, also raises concerns about the registering of phantom voters in border towns, election website malfunctions, and a network of companies responsible for building and running Hungary’s official election software and their links to Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party.
Orbán won his two-thirds super-majority by just one seats last year and now hundreds of testimonies alleging electoral fraud show how it could happen again.