Polling stations will open in the Czech Republic, at 2 pm on Friday. The people will elect new representatives to the municipalities, and a part of the republic will elect one-third of the members of the Senate. Friday’s episode of the Czech Radio series deals with how to count voters’ votes and what to do if it is suspected that some votes have not been counted by the commission.




Prague

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On Friday at 2 p.m., polling stations will open in the Czech Republic (illustrative image) | Photo: Michaela Danilova | Source: iROZHLAS.cz

Counting votes in municipal elections is one of the most complicated matters. About 2,500 people from the Czech Statistical Office alone participate in it. They will receive data from electoral commissions in 506 places. There are fewer than 15,000 constituencies in this year’s elections.

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Electoral commissions consist of at least six members, and in smaller districts with up to 300 electors, they can have only four members. Mainly political parties and movements have their representatives in them.

“This ensures transparency and control of the whole process. If it is not possible to form a committee of only party representatives, then the mayor of the municipality nominates the remaining members”, explains Clara Dlubalova from the Ministry of the Interior in the media video.

Deciding on invalidity

The whole committee participates in the census. Therefore, only one member can decide the invalidity of the vote. All members must then sign the record of the voting process and results and hand it over to the Czech Statistical Office at one of the collection points. The statistical office will then verify that everything is entered correctly.


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The committees will also be handed a copy of the stored data. This is important because committee members can therefore check retroactively that the data obtained by the Czech Statistical Office agree with the data in the register,” says Jan Ceslar of the Czech Statistical Office.

Vote counting can be conducted in constituencies where people vote, in addition to municipal elections, for new senators. There are about a third of them. “We know from practice that 90 percent of all precincts are processed on Saturday by 9 p.m. Almost all by midnight. However, the data from the last precincts is coming in on Sunday morning,” Sislar adds.

If a voter or a political party suspects that the commission made a mistake during the count, they can turn to the regional court. After the election, they have 10 days to file a complaint. The court will agree to the motion if it concludes that misconduct significantly affected the outcome of the vote.

Municipal elections and one-third of senators begin on Friday at 2 p.m. Polling stations will remain open until 10 pm. People can also vote on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Andrea Kupova, Wojciech Tomashek

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