Today 21 November 2019, Thursday - Last updated at ora 11:01
Abonamente

News 12 May 2019, at 12:05

Who Monitors the Vote-Riggers?

Marime Font

 March 18 marked a year since Russia’s last presidential election. Vladimir Putin allegedly won 76.69% of the vote, on a turnout of 67.54% (or 51.7% of all Russia’s eligible voters.) But a recent study of video recordings from polling stations paints quite a different picture of Putin’s latest “triumphal victory,” indicating that the official results were far from reality.

 The main task of Putin’s team during the presidential election was to get him the support of an absolute majority, by whatever means necessary. Enormous administrative resources and media coverage were mobilised to achieve that goal, and people were convinced or coerced in various ways to show up and vote. But even these efforts to mobilise voters were insufficient. In many regions, the authorities had to rely on direct falsifications of the voting results. In some cases, ballot papers were not even counted; previously agreed numbers were given as results instead. In others, members of the electoral commission dumped hundreds of ballot papers into the ballot boxes themselves. Even the presence of video cameras at polling stations did not faze these election riggers.

When it comes to organising video livestreams from polling stations, Russia is particularly advanced. Attempts to broadcast the vote have been made in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Ukraine as well as several African countries. Online monitoring of polling stations was seriously discussed in Poland, but in the end the idea was postponed until future elections. At the same time, even in countries where the practice has taken root, broadcasts are generally of a poorer standard than those adopted in Russia.

During last year’s elections on March 18, video cameras were installed at 46,046 polling stations, which is where more than two thirds of Russia’s voters cast their ballots. Given the immense task of organising elections across Russia, this was decent coverage. Thanks to these video cameras, activists were able to watch the voting process online and immediately take note of any violations. However, Russian law enforcement agencies are usually very reluctant to take video recordings as sufficient evidence of a crime. Observers repeatedly appealed to investigators, but their requests to open criminal proceedings were almost always refused.

But what became of these important recordings? After voting had concluded, observers were denied the opportunity to access the recordings for further analysis. According to a procedure adopted by Russia’s Central Electoral Commission regulating access to its archives, only candidates have the right to request these video recordings. In response, several groups of observers who knew of this obstacle organised their own online “interception” of the broadcasts on election day. They managed to save video recordings from just over 8,000 polling stations spread across different regions of the country. And now, over a year later, volunteers are still independently watching the available videos and painstakingly counting how many people actually voted. Given that a thorough study of one video takes about seven or eight hours, volunteers have had to spend thousands of hours in order to piece together the real picture of voting in Russia’s polling stations.

In February, Golos (a civil society organisation defending voters’ rights — ed.) published a report detailing volunteers’ findings. It revealed an anomalously high number of votes counted (approximately 100,000) at 244 polling stations in five regions: Kemerovo Oblast, Krasnodar Krai, and the Republics of Dagestan, Karachai-Cherkessia, and Kabardino-Balkaria. According to the results of the analysis, the largest inflated turnout from among all the regions was found in Kabardino-Balkaria. The volunteers decided to turn their attention to recordings from polling stations in this North Caucasus region. What they discovered was astonishing: the falsifications they discovered prove that the “pro-Putin majority” was conjured up by members of the electoral commissions. These revelations put the legitimacy of the entire voting process into question.

At the time of writing, independent volunteers have studied video recordings from almost every fourth polling station in Kabardino-Balkaria (which amounts to 84 of the 354 polling stations which were opened in the region.) In none of these polling stations did the turnout as observed by volunteers match the official data. In some instances, members of the local electoral commission falsified results by several thousand votes. The average discrepancy for all the polling stations in question came to 939 voters. This means that every polling station in Kabardino-Balkaria provided Putin with approximately a thousand extra votes.

It should be mentioned that when it comes to voter turnout and share of the vote given to Putin, Kabardino-Balkaria ranks as one of the highest regions in the country. According to official figures, 484,560 of the republic’s 528,431 eligible voters took part in the election, meaning a turnout of 91.8%. Apparently 452,480 people in the republic (or 93.3% of all voters) supported Putin.

The graph below, which compares the official turnout with that recorded by observers who watched the video recordings, clearly shows two accounts of the results which do not correlate. On the one hand, we have the “red carpet” to power laid out by the staff of the electoral commissions, and on the other the “green path” representing how residents of the republic actually voted. In sum, observers found that 84,194 people voted in the 84 polling stations under scrutiny; this means that the actual turnout was 34.6% instead of the officially stated 91.8%. So, what accounts for the additional votes recorded in official data? There are two plausible answers: either members of the district electoral commissions simply inflated the numbers in their official reports, or they dumped additional papers in the ballot boxes themselves, seemingly unfazed before the video cameras.


Red: official turnout for polling stations under analysis
Green: turnout as counted by observers of video recordings from polling stations
Grey: other polling stations (not under analysis)

Therefore, if only slightly over a third of the region’s voters cast their ballots on the election day this means that in reality, only about 180,000 people voted in Kabardino-Balkaria (instead of the official figure of 484,000.) Consequently, two of every three votes for Putin were falsified. These conclusions can be easily drawn by extrapolating the results of a quarter of the polling stations under scrutiny.

Sergey Shpilkin’s method of electoral analysis is useful for revealing “anomalous” votes; according to his calculations, there were at 360,000 of them in Kabardino-Balkaria during the last presidential election. While taking into account that the observers of the video recordings were unable to verify the accuracy of final results themselves, the conclusions of the two different analytical methods still roughly coincide.

The data obtained from video observers is undoubtedly reliable. As several independent groups of volunteers were involved, most of the recordings from polling stations were checked twice. All these groups used the same methodology: they only counted those voters whom they observed dropping a ballot paper into the ballot box. Discrepancies between the results provided by the different observation teams do not amount to more than 10-15 votes, so are therefore insignificant in the overall statistical picture.

The electoral fraud organised by members of the electoral commissions of Kabardino-Balkaria undoubtedly merits a place in the official records. For example, while only 19% of eligible voters showed up at polling station number two, the official turnout was recorded as 94%. This meant an additional 2,090 votes.

Polling stations in Kabardino-Balkaria with the highest number of attributed votes(full table)

Some electoral commissions did not even bother to count the ballots deposited in the ballot boxes. Instead, they simply entered the “required” numbers in the record. One electoral commission in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, distinguished itself in this regard. The members of local electoral commission for precinct number 155 spent the whole day diligently dumping ballot papers into the ballot box. By the time voting closed, the official record indicated that 2,040 ballot papers were in the ballot box. Yet a count of voters by independent observers watching the video recording indicated that just 495 people had turned up to cast a vote. Thus the selfless members of the electoral commission took it upon themselves to choose on behalf of at least 1,500 people who did not even show up at the polling station.

Kabardino-Balkaria is generally counted among one of Russia’s so-called “electoral sultanates.” This term refers to regions of Russia where official election results, even by the standards of Russian elections, have no relationship to how local people voted. The list of these “sultanates” also includes the neighbouring North Caucasus republics of Karachai-Cherkessia, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, and North Ossetia, the Siberian regions of Tuva and Kemerovo Oblast, the Republic of Mordovia, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and several other federal subjects. According to Shpilkin’s estimates, more than 10 million votes in the presidential election can be classed as “abnormal,” hence so must every fifth vote allegedly cast for Vladimir Putin. The lion’s share of these mysterious votes lies in the “electoral sultanates.” In effect, the illusion of mass nationwide support for the president is thanks to mass electoral fraud in these same regions.

Through the example of Kabardino-Balkaria, one region in the North Caucasus, independent observers of the video recordings have been able to prove just how fictitious these votes really are. In doing so, they have confirmed what electoral analysts have long since stated. This testifies to the value of independent volunteers, who spent hours and hours of their own time studying the archive of video recordings from Russia’s polling stations. Thanks to them, we know not only the scale of electoral fraud in Russia, but can determine the exact number of false votes and the names of those responsible.

And that is presumably why, on March 24, 2019, Russia’s Central Electoral Commission destroyed all the video recordings from polling stations during last year’s presidential elections.

https://www.ridl.io

 Urmărește știrile Timpul.md pe Telegram
loading...
Loading...
blog comments powered by Disqus

Din aceeaşi secţiune

Cele mai noi ştiri de azi

News 6 November 2019, at: 23:30

Who is behind the attempts to expropriate Giurgiulești International Free Port?

Who is behind the attempts to expropriate Giurgiulești International Free Port?

 There have been various reports about an illegal attempt to expropriate Danube Logistics Holding BV of its shareholding in Danube Logistics SRL, the operator and general investor in Giurgiulesti International Free Port. In order to discuss this subject in greater detail TIMPIL.MD had a...

( ) Read all

News 26 October 2019, ora: 09:53

The Guardian How liberalism became ‘the god that failed’ in eastern Europe

How liberalism became ‘the god that failed’ in eastern Europe

 After communism fell, the promises of western liberalism to transform central and eastern Europe were never fully realised – and now we are seeing the backlash.

( ) Read all

News 18 October 2019, at: 09:48

 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put US President Donald Trump's letter "in the bin", the BBC has been told.

( ) Read all

News 12 October 2019, at: 09:56

Will The OSCE ‘Democratize’ Russia’s Occupation in Ukraine’s Donbas?

Will The OSCE ‘Democratize’ Russia’s Occupation in Ukraine’s Donbas?

 Kyiv has co-signed with Russia and the Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” (DPR, LPR) a commitment to: a) accept the holding of “local elections” in that Russian-controlled territory of Ukraine and b) accept the Organization for Security and Cooperation in...

( ) Read all

News 7 October 2019, at: 09:20

 On the occasion of the book launch, "Panorama of communism in Soviet Moldova", writer from the Republic of Moldova, Maria Sleahtitchi, one of the authors of the volume, spoke to B1.ro about the condition of Moldovan literature in a society strongly divided by ethnic and political...

( ) Read all

News 4 October 2019, at: 07:26

 The Council of Europe is concerned about the possible adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of a bill amending some laws of Ukraine regarding the activities of the judiciary (No. 1008), which provides, inter alia, a reduction in the number of judges of the Supreme Court and changes in the...

( ) Read all

News 1 October 2019, at: 21:51

Thomas Moser: Rafiq Aliyev is attempting to coerce me into agreeing to the sale of Danube Logistics Holding BV

Thomas Moser: Rafiq Aliyev is attempting to coerce me into agreeing to the sale of Danube Logistics Holding BV

 I would like to clarify a number of false and misleading press reports about Danube Logistics Holding BV’s acquisition of Danube Logistics SRL in 2011 and other matters that have been circulating in Moldova last week.

( ) Read all

News 1 October 2019, at: 17:06

 The United States continues to closely follow and support efforts to reform and strengthen Moldova’s justice system.

( ) Read all

News 24 September 2019, at: 15:56

I begin with an allegory expressed by prof. Vytautas Landsbergis, the first head of the restored State of Lithuania, who used to address the options for geopolitical orientation after the restoration of the independence. When asked about the possibility in 1990s for Lithuania to choose...

( ) Read all

News 23 September 2019, at: 11:47

​Romania's President, the prime minister and the leader of the second biggest opposition party will face each other in presidential elections, along with five other candidates. This weekend saw the conclusion for the period of registration of runners in the elections due to take place in...

( ) Read all

News 19 September 2019, at: 23:05

 You’ve probably already heard the Romanian language from friends, relatives or strangers in the community. Maybe you have even made an attempt to learn basic phrases of Romanian for an upcoming trip. But have you ever wondered how the language was formed? We found ourselves wondering...

( ) Read all

News 18 September 2019, ora: 10:50

COMMENT: Moldovan president’s determination to stop an airport deal appears increasingly misleading

COMMENT: Moldovan president’s determination to stop an airport deal appears increasingly misleading

Regime change in Moldova has been met with cautious optimism by Brussels, as President Igor Dodon pledged to dismantle the businesses that have long dominated political life. But mere months after a contentious coalition was brokered between Dodon and Maia Sandu, both international observers and...

( ) Read all

News 17 September 2019, ora: 13:51

The national interest: Russia Is Rapidly Procuring More Fifth-Generation Su-57s

The national interest: Russia Is Rapidly Procuring More Fifth-Generation Su-57s

 In July 2019, Russia announced a major purchase of its fifth-generation stealth air superiority fighter, the Su-57.

( ) Read all

News 9 September 2019, ora: 12:07

Moldova not recognizing so-called elections in Crimea and Sevastopol

Moldova not recognizing so-called elections in Crimea and Sevastopol

Moldova does not recognize the so-called elections that were held in Russia-annexed Crimea and Sevastopol on September 8, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova has reported.

( ) Read all

News 8 September 2019, at: 19:29

The Washington Post: Trump tries to force Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election

The Washington Post: Trump tries to force Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election

 UKRAINE’S NEOPHYTE president, Volodymyr Zelensky, took a big step this week toward proving that he will be, as he promised, the most pro-reform president in Ukraine’s history. On Monday, he laid out a breathtakingly ambitious five-year plan including virtually every measure the...

( ) Read all

News 7 September 2019, ora: 19:23

Film director Oleg Sentsov among 70 released in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap / VIDEO

Film director Oleg Sentsov among 70 released in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap / VIDEO

 Russia and Ukraine carried out a long-awaited swap of 70 prisoners on Saturday, in a deal hailed by President Volodymyr Zelensky as a “first step” towards ending their conflict.

( ) Read all

News 1 September 2019, ora: 08:51

ECHR to consider Ukraine's ‘Crimean’ lawsuit against Russia in September

ECHR to consider Ukraine's ‘Crimean’ lawsuit against Russia in September

 In September, the European Court of Human Rights will consider an interstate case on a lawsuit filed by Ukraine against Russia on March 13, 2014, regarding the violation of human rights in the territory of the annexed Crimea.

( ) Read all

News 31 August 2019, ora: 10:20

Vladimir Putin and his minions continue to whitewash the Stalinist past (washingtonpost.com)

Vladimir Putin and his minions continue to whitewash the Stalinist past (washingtonpost.com)

This past week, the Russian Military Historical Society — a government-affiliated body headed by Vladimir Putin’s culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky — concluded its second research expedition to the Sandarmokh forest in the northwestern region of Karelia. Its purported aim was...

( ) Read all

News 29 August 2019, ora: 07:14

Soviet Symbols Aren't 'Funny,' Lithuania Tells Amazon

Soviet Symbols Aren't 'Funny,' Lithuania Tells Amazon

 Lithuania has urged American online retailer Amazon to stop selling clothing featuring the hammer and sickle and other Soviet symbols, which it says are offensive to victims of Soviet-era persecution.

( ) Read all

News 16 August 2019, ora: 08:55

PM’s Plan to Commemorate Victims of Totalitarianism Divides Moldova

PM’s Plan to Commemorate Victims of Totalitarianism Divides Moldova

 Move by pro-EU Prime Minister to turn August 23 into a day of remembrance for victims of totalitarianism may trigger an ideological fight with her pro-Russian coalition partners – who celebrate the victory in 1944 of the Soviet Red Army on that day.

( ) Read all

News 15 August 2019, at: 18:43

The Washington Times Kremlin rewriting World War II history

Kremlin rewriting World War II history

 Sept. 1 marks the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland — an event that heralded the beginning of World War II. Two years later, the United States entered the war as an ally of both Great Britain and the Soviet Union. By that time, France and numerous other...

( ) Read all
Current tier / breakpoint: xs sm md lg xl (= visible only on this breakpoint)

.hidden-xs-down .hidden-sm-down .hidden-md-down .hidden-lg-down

.hidden-xs-up .hidden-sm-up .hidden-md-up .hidden-lg-up .hidden-xl

.hidden-xs (only) .hidden-sm (only) .hidden-md (only) .hidden-lg (only) .hidden-xl (only)