As Russia Votes, Reports of Ballot Stuffing, a Hack

19 March, 2018, 12:48 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • The headquarters of the FSB security service the successor to the KGB in central Moscow

Regional election commissions have been instructed to craft a "holiday-like atmosphere" around Sunday's presidential election, according to various local media reports. Voters also faced billboards celebrating Russian greatness - a major theme of Putin's leadership.

"Those who said that "there would be fewer falsifications during these elections because Putin has already won over everyone" have made a mistake", he said.

"I am sure the programme I am offering is the right one", he said.

Russians will cast their ballots on Sunday to choose a new head of state in the seventh presidential election since the establishment of the country's presidential system in 1991.

A 43-year-old mechanic had to vote if he wanted to keep his job.

"We are a great big team together and I am a member of your team", he said, after a colorful show of high-energy musical performances.

"Our elections have proved once again. that it's not possible to manipulate our people", she said.

"But the answer was easy ... if I want to keep working, I vote", Yevgeny, who did not want to give out his last name said.

"Right now the turnout numbers are higher than we expected".

A 25-year-old man at polling station number 02-13 in the settlement of Gryazi, in the Lipetsk region south of Moscow, said: "At work we were forced to come and vote, with photos and all the rest of it".


Putin, who has been in power for 18 years, was widely expected to glide into another six-year tenure with most polls suggesting he could take around 70 per cent of the vote.

Voting fraud was widespread in Russia's 2011 parliamentary vote, triggering massive protests in Moscow against Putin's rule.

Election monitoring group Golos reported dozens of apparent violations Sunday, from the Russian Far East to Moscow.

The vote was a huge logistical undertaking, taking place across Russia's 11 time zones over 22 hours, in around 97,000 polling stations, according to the Central Election Commission.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has boycotted the presidential election and advised Russians to do the same.

This is not the case in Ukraine, as it has barred Russian citizens from voting in the Russian diplomatic missions on its territory for what Kiev claims are "illegal" elections in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, that reunited with Russia in wake of a popular referendum in March 2014.

At a polling station in Simferopol, in the Crimea region which Russian Federation annexed from Ukraine, a couple with a child photographed themselves putting a voting slip into a ballot box. Ukraine is also angry over Russian support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, where a deadly conflict continues.

Putin, who has run under the slogan "a strong president-a strong Russia", has declined to take part in televised debates and shot no new material for his own campaign advertisements. "The others, it's a circus".

Leaders around the world are watching the election closely to ensure there's no meddling in the election like they alleged during after Donald Trump won the presidency.

With more than half of ballots counted, he had received 75% of the vote, the central election commission said.

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