Original article (in Slovenian) was published on 12/05/2022
57 out of the 69 polling stations in the electoral districts where Robert Golob, Urška Klakočar Zupančič and Mojca Šetinc Pašek stood as candidates were located at the same address as at least one other polling station. However, different voters were eligible to vote at each of the polling stations.
On 2 May, journalist and editor-in-chief of the news site Dosje Mojca Vočko published an article with the headline “[Dušan] Vučko’s electoral fraud uncovered?! (Dušan Vučko is the Director of the Slovenian State Election Commission)”. In the article, she wrote about alleged irregularities in the number of votes in this year’s Slovenian parliamentary election.
According to Vočko, several polling stations where voters could cast their votes for Urška Klakočar Zupančič, Robert Golob and Mojca Šetinc Pašek from the Freedom Movement were registered “more than once, under different polling station numbers and with completely different voting data, which is against the law.” As 57 out of the 69 polling stations in the electoral districts where the three stood as candidates were located at the same address as at least one other polling station, Vočko concluded that the number of votes had been artificially inflated.
“There is no special law designating the locations of polling stations,” the State Election Commission (DVK) told Razkrinkavanje.si, stressing that the practice of several polling stations operating at the same location is quite common and “not a novelty”. They added that polling stations located at the same address are separated from one another with partitions or are situated in different rooms.
Under the National Assembly Election Act, polling stations and their corresponding areas are designated by the district electoral commissions.
The electoral units, electoral districts and polling stations are in turn determined by administrative units based on the voter’s place of permanent residence in accordance with the Voting Rights Register Act. In the territory of Slovenia, voters may exercise their right to vote at the polling station at which they are entered in the general electoral register, which is compiled for each polling station by the Ministry of the Interior. This means that a voter can be entered in the general electoral register only in the area of the polling station where he or she has a registered permanent residence.
“If there is more than one polling station located in the same building, the voter is not registered in several electoral registers, he or she is registered in only one and can accordingly vote only at the polling station where he or she is entered in the electoral register,” the Ljubljana Center district electoral commission told Razkrinkavanje.si.
Although some polling stations were located at the same address, none were registered more than once. At each polling station, the ballot paper could be cast only by voters entered in that specific electoral register, which is why voting data from different polling stations at the same address differ.
Voters can cast their votes at only one polling station
According to the data provided by DVK, Urška Klakočar Zupančič stood as a candidate in the electoral district Ljubljana Šiška 3. The district electoral commission designated 18 polling stations in the district, 15 of which were located at the same address as at least one other polling station.
This was also the case in the electoral districts Ljubljana Center and Ljubljana Šiška 1, where Robert Golob stood as a candidate. In Ljubljana Šiška 1, the district electoral commission designated 17 polling stations, the same number as in 2018, and 13 of these were located at the same address as at least one other polling station. The Ljubljana Center district electoral commission designated 19 polling stations, 16 of which were located at the same address as at least one other polling station. The only change in comparison with 2018 was the address of two polling stations, which were moved from Karlovška cesta 18 to Prule 13.
According to the data provided by DVK, Mojca Šetinc Pašek stood as a candidate in the electoral district Ljubljana Vič – Rudnik 2, where, as in 2018, the district electoral commission designated 15 polling stations, 14 of which were located at the same address as at least one other polling station.
The decisions on the designation of polling stations and polling station areas that we received from the district electoral commissions in these electoral districts show that all the polling stations, including those that shared their location with other polling stations, had separate polling station areas. Voters were therefore not able to cast their votes at more than one polling station.
In her response to Razkrinkavanje.si, Mojca Vočko stressed that the data on the number of invalid ballot papers cannot be compared between different election years. “Every (genuinely) invalid ballot paper is too much.”
The claim that data from some polling stations were “fraudulently registered more than once” although they differ significantly is a manipulation. Even at polling stations that share the same address, the voters’ ballot papers are counted only once.