PRESS-RELEASE № 1. Association “GOLOS” on the findings of the short term observation on the election day of July 5 in the city of Petrozavodsk

05 июля 2009 г.

PRESS-RELEASE № 1. Association “GOLOS” on the findings of the short term observation on the election day of July 5 in the city of Petrozavodsk
Early voting for the Head of Petrozavodsk municipal district set up for July 5, 2009

The city of Petrozavodsk PRESS-RELEASE № 1 5 July 2009 18:00

Association “GOLOS” on the findings of the short term observation on the election day of July 5 in the city of Petrozavodsk (opening of the polling stations and voting process)

On July 5, 2009, “GOLOS” Association, Karelian subdivision of IRFGOLOS-North-West” with the help of its experts and activists – correspondents of the newspaper Grazhdanskiy golos conducts civic monitoring of the voting process at early voting for the Head of the Petrizavodsk municipal district in the city of Petrozavodsk.

Throughout the Election Day the correspondents of the newspaper Grazhdanskiy golos are monitoring work of election commissions in all districts of the city of Petrozavodsk. Also, operators of the Association are registering calls about violation of electoral legislation and irregularities from citizens at its “Hotline” (8–800-333–33–50). The messages/calls received will be posted on the webste Association applies all possible efforts to verify the received information.

As an organization, which is guided in its work by internationally accepted standards of election monitoring, “GOLOS” Association strictly observes political neutrality as one of the main conditions for independent and objective election monitoring. Objectivity, transparency, professionalism, impartiality, independence and accuracy of data should be outlined among the principles of the functioning of the Association. “GOLOS” takes all possible measures to ensure its staff members and activists observe these principles.

“GOLOS” would like to point out a positive fact that at majority of polling stations of the Petrozavodsk semi-transparent ballot boxes were used, which excludes ballot staffing before the voting and significantly eases the monitoring process on the Election Day.

The first finding of “GOLOS” correspondents included different formats of the information about candidates placed on the information boards of the polling stations (PS). Thus, the information sheets on three candidates – E.V. Mikheeva, D.G. Gorbushina and V.A. Smirnova did not contain photographs. The electoral authorities of Petrozavodsk city stated the candidates did not submit pictures to the election commission.

Thus, on the information board of the PS in Petrozavodsk the voter could see the following list of candidates:

Buzova Natalia Nikolaevna, year of birth — 1973, Assistant to the Deputy of the RF State Duma (LDPR) Gorbushin Denis Gennadievitch, year of birth — 1980, currently unemployed (selfnominee) Levin Nikolay Ivanovich, year of birth — 1958, Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia (“United Russia”) Mikheev Eugeniy Vladievich, year of birth — 1971, General Director of the LLC “Centralnaya Stroybaza Karelii” (self nominee) Nosov Oleg Yurievich, year of birth — 1972, self-employed (entrepreneur) Smirnov Vadim Alexeevich, year of birth — 1966, currently unemployed (selfnominee) Temnyshev Alexander Eduardovich, year of birth — 1959, manager of LLC “Snabstroy” (selfnominee).

Opening of the polling stations

Correspondents of the newspaper Grazhdanskiy golos note that polling stations have been opened on time; the procedure of the preparation for the opening of polling stations was observed on 100 % of the precinct election commissions (PECs). All premises for voting were prepared: there were no lines, the secrecy of the voting was observed.

At the moment of the opening of PS observers from the candidates arrived to the voting premises as well: o Observers from the candidate Levin were present at 97,7% of PECs o from the candidate Temnyshev – at 64,2% of PECs o from the candidate Buzov – at 6,5% of PECs

There were several violations registered by “GOLOS” representatives. In particular, not on all polling stations data was entered in the enlarged form of the protocol, and agitation materials were present near the polling stations.

Observers also noted that at a number of PS a sample of how to fill in the voting ballot was absent (for example, PECs No. 19, 58).

According to data received from “GOLOS” correspondents, on many polling stations public opinion polling was taking place at the exit (for example, PECs No. 76, 99, 100), conducted by unknown organization that at times positioning itself as “Simvol kachestva” (Symbol of quality), and in other cases as “Obschestvennoe mnenie” (Public opinion). The polling was conducted in violation of law since it was taking place within 50 meters from the entrance to the PS. Representatives of the Municipal Election Commission (MEC) of the Petrozavodsk city told “GOLOS” expert, that the polling was not registered and that the internal affairs officials were informed about the unlawfulness of such actions on the Election Day.

At some PECs the presence of unauthorized persons was registered (for example, PECs No. 55, 74, 75, 36, 100). No enlarged form of the protocol was found on the PECs No. 45 and 58.

Above all, on the day of campaign silence, July 4, when law prohibits all agitation, correspondents of “GOLOS” discovered agitation product that contained elements of implicit bribery of voters (photo was made on 4.07.09 at 6:22 p.m.).

At PEC No. 20, located on the premises of school No. 20, the polling place was situated on the third floor, which caused access difficulties for elderly voters. Members of the commission accompanied by observers walked down to the first floor to hand voting ballots to voters and then inserted the ballots in the polling boxes for voters. According to the “GOLOS” correspondents’ records: In 100 % of cases it was noted that: • The Chairman of the PEC demonstrated empty voting boxes (stationary and mobile) to all persons present at the PS. • The procedure of preparation for opening of polling station was observed. • Polling stations were opened for voting at 8:00 a.m. • The polling premises were prepared well (no lines, the secrecy of the voting was observed).

Irregularities were noted in relation to following procedures: • The information about candidates was presented in standard form on 88,4% of PS • The enlarged form of the protocol was filled out — 80 % • Unauthorised people were present at the polling station (persons other than members of the commission, observers, voters) — 10,3% • Complains from observers, citizens — 1,9% • The register of applications to vote outside of the premises for voting was kept — 61,3% Turnout during the day is shown on the diagram below:

The chart above displays how the turnout changed during every 2 hours throughout the E-Day

The information received from observers is distributed in the form of press releases and will be published at: The messages received through the “Hotline” are published at: ATTENTION! On July 5 and July 6 at the “Expo-Centre” (Petrozavodsk, Gogol Str., 1) Association “GOLOS” will give final PRESS-CONFERENCES on findings of the public monitoring of elections in Petrozavodsk.