Press-release #2 GOLOS Reports Multiple Cases of Organized Voting, Bussing and Remote Voting Procedure Violations

13 марта 2010 г.

Representatives of GOLOS reported that during the day they continued observing negative trends previously reported in the morning. Those were the cases of unauthorized persons present at the polling stations, limiting voters’ rights, rights of observers, mass media and members of electoral commissions, as well as numerous cases of organized voting with absentee ballots, transportation of the voters to polling stations, bribing voters in some regions.

Press-release #2 GOLOS Reports Multiple Cases of Organized Voting, Bussing and Remote Voting Procedure Violations
Representatives of GOLOS reported that during the day they continued observing negative trends previously reported in the morning. Those were the cases of unauthorized persons present at the polling stations, limiting voters’ rights, rights of observers, mass media and members of electoral commissions, as well as numerous cases of organized voting with absentee ballots, transportation of the voters to polling stations, bribing voters in some regions.

Thus unauthorized persons were present at 15% of PECs in Krasnodar, at 18% in Sverdlovsk area, 30% in Novorossiysk. Also, the members of the electoral commissions kept filling the registers for voting outside of polling stations in Novorossiysk (at 25% PECs), Ryazan’ ( 20% PECs), Sochi ( 23% PECs), Tula ( 17% PECs).

Additionally, correspondents of Grazhdanskiy Golos keep reporting the non-transparent activities of electoral commissions, which are limiting access of the observers and media representatives, for instance, for home voting procedure monitoring. Such cases were reported by GOLOS’ representatives in Astrakhan, where the voters have been included into the lists for voting at home (remote voting) not based on their requests but according to some other criteria (for instance, old age).

Nevertheless, GOLOS Association expresses gratitude to electoral commission of Krasnodar area and its chairman V.F. Galushko for the timely assistance in resolving the issue of denying access to several polling stations of Novorossiysk for GOLOS’ correspondents.

Representatives of GOLOS in Chelyabinsk are reporting cases of preventing members of PEC with the advisory vote, from executing their responsibilities. These commission members were treated like observers, of which GOLOS has received numerous messages. Besides, the polling stations of the city lacked information on the income and property ownership of the candidates, which was told to be in line with the higher-level commission’s recommendation. Overall, electoral campaigns in the region were rather weak and the materials presented at polling stations appeared to be the main source of information for the voters. GOLOS Association notes that such actions are indirectly enabling the increase in the percentage of votes for the acting officials.

Representatives of GOLOS in Kurgan reported cases of refusal by the members of commissions to register complaints during the voting day.

An alarming issue of eliminating one of the main candidates has occurred in Irkutsk, the registration of which has been cancelled by court decision on Friday evening. As a result, the name of this candidate was not eliminated from ballots at many polling stations and confused electoral commissions and caused complaints of voters.

GOLOS Association expresses concern about the voting process with the absentee ballots in Yekaterinburg. During the day representatives of GOLOS have registered cases of mass transportation of the voters for voting with absentee ballots, including the polling stations, open at the shopping malls. At such stations, where from 500 to 1000 voters could vote on each of the stations, food sets were given out to people as stimulation for active participation in elections. Apart from this, GOLOS’ correspondents reported cases of voter bribery with alcoholic drinks.

The Statement presented to mass media by the chairman of Sverdlovsk area electoral commission Mr. Mostovshchikov cannot but cause concern by its addressing the possibility of voting at the place of temporary stay even without absentee ballots. Despite this statement’s later denial, during this period GOLOS Association has registered considerable increase in the voter turnout.

Facts of organized transportation of the voters and organized voting of students were reported in Republic of Altay. In addition to that, GOLOS’ representatives report that in some cases voting by employees of some organizations was registered at polling stations of the region.

More than 700 representatives of GOLOS association are conducting public monitoring of the voting, counting procedures at polling stations and presentation of the results in the higher-level electoral commissions during elections in Altay Republic, Vladimir, Voronezh, Kurgan, Ryazan’, Sverdlovsk areas, and also in Astrakhan, Vladimir, Yekaterinburg, Ivanovo, Irkutsk, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Novorossiysk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Sochi, Tula, Chelyabinsk on March 14th, 2010.

All trough Election Day GOLOS’ “hot line” 8 800 333–33–50 will be in operation collecting information about irregularities, collected by media representatives, political parties and Russian citizens over the course of Election Day. The information is posted on www.88003333350.ru.

Information about the voting also can be read in LiveJournal of GOLOS Association http://golos-org.livejournal.com.

Additional information can be received from Central Office representative Tetyana Bohdanova: tel. (495) 234–59–39, 8 919 762–98–61, E-mail: press@golos.org.