Sunday, September 24, 2017

Reports question voting irregularities in Yekaterinburg

Reports are surfacing from of the tens of thousands of volunteers monitoring Russia's presidential polls about alleged violations that cast doubts on its legitimacy.

Election officials denied any significant fraud in the presidential polls that are set to be won by Vladimir Putin, KoreaHerald.com reports.

A record number of volunteers monitored the casting and counting of the ballots, with more than 27,000 monitors present at Russian polling stations, according to Control2012.ru. The website listed more than 3,300 violations in the afternoon in Moscow, while Russian-language Twitter overflowed with evidence of doctored lists of voters and suspicious-looking buses near stations.

A series of videos were made by a monitor in Yekaterinburg that showed police detaining a minivan with approximately 10 people who admitted that they had already voted several times, who are called "carousel" voters, or organized repeat voters, according to KoreaHerald.com.

"Carousel" voting usually involves people using absentee voting documents to receive ballots at one polling station after another from corrupt officials.

At Moscow's central Bolotnaya Square, hundreds of buses were brought in on Sunday from other regions full of young people who said that they came to vote for Putin. Blogging election monitors swamped Twitter with photos and license plates of similar buses bringing groups of people to stations in organized fashion, according to KoreaHerald.com.

Additionally, a woman in the Siberian city of Omsk saw on a station's voters' list that her dead family members had come in to cast their ballots. Some large companies have opened polling stations on their premises, where no cameras are present and where only the workers can vote.

The presidential election comes after the Dec. 4 parliamentary elections that were tarnished by claims of major vote rigging, according to KoreaHerald.com.