In Hungary, the information technology (IT) systems developed for general elections have covered the whole election process since 1989 from compiling the electoral rolls up to the establishment of the final results.

The IT support of the 2008 national referendum (hereinafter: the referendum) has been developed on the basis of IT support for earlier elections. The election supporting systems shall dominantly use the existing infrastructure, including the network of document bureaus, the Birth and Marriage Registration System (hereinafter: the  ASZA), and the resources of the Central Office for Public Administration and E-Services (hereinafter: the KEK KH).

By involving the infrastructure of the document bureaus and the ASZA, the high quality and safe recording of the large volume of information created during the referendum process within a short time has become possible, and the systems and network facilities subject to continuous development provide a stable IT background to this.

With the simultaneous use of the infrastructure of the document bureaus and the ASZA, each local electoral office is able to take part in the IT processing of the ballot data in the course of the referendum.

The regional electoral offices carry out their supervisory, data recording and controlling tasks mainly by using the infrastructure of the regional public administration offices and their affiliates (hereinafter: the public administration offices). The preparation of the electoral roll and the notification ticket has been centralized at county level. Printing and server capacities for this task shall be provided in the public administration offices. In making preparations for the referendum, KEK KH shall provide for the replacement of RISC servers, the maintenance of printers, and the availability of toners.

You will find below the important functions of the main IT systems. In addition those described below, a number of smaller systems will function to meet demand for information, management and other special requests.

Preparation of electoral rolls and notification tickets

Prior to the referendum, the local electoral offices shall control and correct – as required – the allocation of the electoral wards i.e. of the voting districts pertaining to constituencies.

Following the setting of the ballot date, the roll of eligible voters shall be compiled by wards on the basis of the Personal Data and Home Address Register (SZL) and of the registration of citizens of age having no right of voting (NESZA). The public administration offices or the local governments (municipalities), and/or the KEK KH compile the electoral roll and the notification tickets, and the local electoral offices shall update them continuously until the ballot day.

Information System

In line with the earlier practice, the Information System provides orientation for electoral bodies, citizens, the media and the parties on the Internet or – for the electoral offices – through Intranet during the whole referendum process.

On the day before and after the referendum, the System provides opportunity for personal orientation for Hungarian and international individuals and for the representatives of the press and the parties in the National Electoral Centre, while the projected version of the Intranet/Internet Information System shall facilitate orientation.

The information put on the Internet by the National Electoral Office contains exclusively information free from political and party considerations. The information shall be available in Hungarian and with limited contents in English languages.

The preliminary and the final results consolidated at country level shall be available by questions also in a blind-friendly format in the Information System.

Integrated Electoral Services System

The Integrated Electoral Services System (hereinafter: the integrated master system) running on the architecture of the central document bureau supports the execution of administrative tasks by specific functionalities in the preparation and implementation period of the referendum. The integrated master system shall be used in the implementation of the referendum by the work stations of both the document bureaus and the Birth and Marriage Registration System (hereinafter: the ASZA) connected to the network.

The integrated master system includes:

- programs providing IT support on the day preceding the ballot and on the ballot day,
- subsystem supporting the establishment of the final result, including the handling of legal remedy,
- programs for the handling of the list of voters cancelled from the roll and/or included in the roll on the basis of certificates issued,
- subsystem supporting the tasks relating to keeping the roll of foreign representations,
- the NESZA query tool,
- system supporting the central processing of ballot documents of foreign representations,
- system indicating the probability of electoral abuses.

The integrated master system is built on the functions developed for the 2004 referendum, being an advanced version of that. In line with the earlier practice, a flash report shall be compiled from preliminary results including the facts provided by the integrated master system. The system works from datasheets and records alternatively, where the records cannot be overwritten by datasheets once the ward records have been entered.

Electoral System of Procedures

The Electoral System of Procedures (VÜR) serves for the implementation and organization of management tasks relating to the ballot, and for communication between the electoral bodies by using up-to-date IT resources as well as possibilities offered by the closed-loop computer network connecting the document bureaus. Conclusively, log in to the system and using it is allowed only for computers and users having entitlement.

The primary purpose of the system is the operation of an IT communication channel between the national, the regional and the local electoral bodies. This channel offers electronic mailing and forum opportunities for registered users, where the forum gives place for the opinion of the public and their request for help by topics, like a sort of billboard.

Besides, the system shall function as database containing the facts of the electoral offices sorted by regions and indicating the name, address, phone number, fax number and e-mail access of each member of the electoral office. Further facts can be found here from the archives accumulated since the commissioning of the system as well as a variety of other information pertaining to previous elections, e.g. digests of electoral records. The collection of legal documents includes statutory regulations important for users as well as other electronic materials concerning the management of the system or the electoral procedures. In the electoral calendar accessible in the system of procedures, concise information can be found on deadlines and time schedules as well as on other events, dates, and sites in relation with the elections.

Under Help Desk in the menu, the individuals in charge for various other systems, networks and projects engaged in the elections are at disposal to provide help in resolving the problems of the users of the system.

Financial and Logistics System

Task of the Financial and Logistics System is to provide sufficient IT applications and related services as efficient support to the financial, accounting and logistic jobs of bodies involved in the implementation of the referendum. It supports the following functions based on special budgetary regulations pertaining to the electoral tasks with regard to the envisaged IT support:

- planning of procurement and finances;
- regulation of financial and logistic (organizational) processes;
- workmanlike performance of activities in due time, with high-standard IT support;
- harmonization of the working of bodies and professionals involved in the implementation.

The applications expanded by new functions and capabilities for each election and referendum, and continuously adjusted to legal requirements provide more and more efficient IT support to the work of staffs involved in the implementation as well as to the early information of the public.