On the second day of the Russian parliamentary elections, numerous reports of fraud have again been received by independent election observers. The leader of the Communist Party, the countrys second party, also speaks of widespread electoral fraud.
The Golos organization sees different forms of election influence. For example, people would cast a vote more than once. Votes would also have been returned and groups of civil servants have been mobilized to vote. Observers in Moscow found a pen with disappearing ink in a polling station and a polls with a hidden back door.
According to a member of the Communist Party, this voter is a dressed member of the Electoral Committee:
On social media, several videos showing the alleged fraud are circulating. There are also a lot of videos that dont show the ballot corridor, because employees cover the surveillance cameras. That way observers cannot control the election.
These images show how someone throws a pile of ballots into the ballot box, while an employee tries to impede the cameras view:
Yesterday, on the first day of the election, observer organization Golos recorded about 2000 irregularities. The organization was labeled a “foreign agent” two weeks ago, making employees less likely to do their jobs. So the number of suspected fraud cases is probably just a tip of the iceberg.
However, the Electoral Committee speaks of an orderly polls, despite three cyber attacks from abroad.
According to the committee, the turnout at 20:00 Moscow time was about 31.5 percent of voting rights. Tomorrow is the last chance to vote for the State Duma, the Russian Lower House. Currently, United Russia government party owns three quarters of seats, but in polls the party is bad for it.
The movement of captured opposition leader Aleksej Navalny has called on voters to use the Smart Voting app. It allows Russians to see which candidate they are best to vote for so that the United Russia candidate is not elected.
That system has been inflicted several sensitive strokes in recent days. Yesterday, Apple and Google removed the application from their app store, at the request of the Kremlin. Today, Google would have been asked to remove three YouTube videos about “smart voices”, reports an employee of Navalnys movement.
Telegram has also limited the option to use chatbots for the smart voting system. This is remarkable, because the chat service is known as a free place for opposition members who managed to hold their own despite interference from the Russian authorities. According to Telegram boss Pavel Durov, the chatbots are suspended because there should be no campaign around the election process.
A major cause for Putins unpopularity is the poor state of the economy. Correspondent Iris de Graaf visited the inhabitants of Troebitchino, where residents have no running water or gas for 20 years: