An analysis of the Hungarian Constitutional Court's ruling on voter registration

It is time to take a closer look at the Hungarian Constitutional Court's decision. Unfortunately, the opinion is very long and technical and I have neither the time nor the expertise to go into all the subtleties of the decision. Here I will address just two points: (1) what sections of the law on "electoral procedure" (T/8405) were questioned by President János Áder and (2) what sections of the new Basic Laws–which I still call the Constitution–the court referred to in making its decision.

Here is a brief summary of the paragraphs mentioned by President Áder. §82 simply gives a definition of the "central register" (központi névjegyzék), a list of those who previously registered at the local notary expressing his or her wish to vote. §88 outlines the procedure of actually getting registered, which is very narrowly defined. It can be done either completely in person or in part electronically. Both possibilities are slow and cumbersome. On the other hand, those who live abroad can register by mail. Clearly, the government party favors those Hungarians who live in the neighboring countries by making their registration procedure easier. §106 goes into more details of the registration procedure, setting a time limit of 15 days before the election to be eligible to be included in the "central register."

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