NewsOpinionsAnalysisServicesTrainingsAbout usRu
ReportMap of ViolationsRussian Federation14 September 2023, 10:53
David Kankiya
Election expert, Krasnodar region
Collage: Ksenia Telmanova

As it was noted in the statement on the results of the election observation: "the “Golos” movement must but report that the situation with the possibility of exercising the electoral rights by the citizens has significantly worsened, even compared to the low bar set by the elections five years ago, when the previous compositions of state authorities and local self-government were elected. The 2023 elections turned out to be even less free and fair.".

This conclusion was based, among other things, on reports from observers, members of commissions, candidates' offices, and voters - they recorded violations of electoral legislation that they encountered at polling stations and during the pre-election period.

Since the launch of the Map of Violations on July 10, a total of 1,097 messages have been published. In 2018, when the previous election cycle of the same bodies and posts took place, the Map received 937 violation reports. Over the course of five years, observers and participants in the electoral process reported approximately the same number of violations of electoral legislation.

In 2023, 523 cases of irregularities were reported during the pre-election period and 574 cases have been published since the start of multi-day voting on September 8th.


(The same act may contain signs of several types of violations):

Violations prior to election day

  • Abuse of administrative resources — 248
  • Violations of campaign rules in mass media — 161
  • Pressure from superiors, coercion, bribery of voters — 92
  • Violations of the rules of print and outdoor campaigning — 60
  • Unlawful refusals to register and violation of candidate rights — 36
  • Violation of rights of commission members, observers, and media — 21
  • Influence of law enforcement structures — 12
  • Violations during signature collection — 5
  • Other violations before election day — 81

Violations on Election Day

  • Violations of the rights of observers, commission members, media -126
  • Violation of the voter list, refusal to vote — 94
  • Illegal campaigning, lotteries, bribery — 64
  • Coercion, transportation of voters, control of voting — 60
  • Ballot stuffing, "carousel voting", etc. — 53
  • Pre-voting irregularities: problems with safe bags, failure to follow procedures, etc. — 37
  • Irregularities during home voting — 35
  • Violations in the equipment of the polling station — 26
  • Other violations on voting day — 158

Violations during the counting of votes

  • Violations of the sequence and procedure of counting — 39
  • Violations in drawing up the protocol, making a copy -17
  • Distortion of voting results during counting — 17
  • Violations in higher commissions — 7
  • Other violations during counting and establishment of results — 29

It is also worth noting that since the beginning of the "Map of Violations" in the September elections, there have been 36 reports with the mark "Attacks on life, health, property".

Regions-leaders with the highest number of reports

  • Moscow — 211
  • Moscow region — 181
  • Krasnodar region — 63
  • Ivanovo region — 61
  • Republic of Khakassia — 59
  • Novgorod region — 50
  • Ryazan region — 39
  • Samara region — 38
  • Republic of Kalmykia — 37
  • Republic of Bashkortostan — 30

In total, information was published from 55 regions. At the same time, the number of reports received reflects not only the "dirtiness" of certain elections but also the activity of the observer community and voters on the ground. For example, not a single report was received from Karachay-Cherkessia, where by-elections for a State Duma deputy were held. At the same time, the voting results in the Caucasian republics were repeatedly questioned, and if independent observers managed to get to the polling stations, they recorded numerous violations and distortion of the voting results.

Key findings

  1. Before the start of voting, almost half of the reports received were related to the abuse of administrative resources. They referred to coercion to vote and participate in campaign events of administrative candidates, obstruction of campaigning of opposition candidates, and administrative use of budgetary media.
  2. More than a quarter of the reports published before election day contained information on violations of campaign rules, including in the media. State, regional, and municipal media were actively involved in the election campaigns of administrative candidates of the United Russia party. This was particularly evident during the gubernatorial campaigns, where the media conducted hidden campaigning under the guise of informing about the activities of governors and deputy governors. For more information about the campaigning in the 2023 elections, please refer to the thematic report of “Golos”.
  3. The police and law enforcement agencies have become active participants in the electoral process - the amount of information about pressure or harassment of candidates, their headquarters, or activists by law enforcement agencies is disturbing.
  4. Remote electronic voting (REV) was in the focus of public attention. Numerous problems were reported in its operation on voting days. In turn, voters, not only in Moscow but also in other regions, actively reported that they were forced to participate in online voting.
  5. Almost every fourth report received during the voting and counting process described violations of the rights of observers, commission members, and other individuals that had the right to be at polling stations. The commissions tried in every possible way to restrict observers in their ability to familiarise themselves with documents, take pictures, ask questions, record violations taking place, and move around the polling station. Many observers noted an increase in aggressiveness on the part of members of election commissions, direct attacks, and threats.
  6. Compared to previous years, the number of reported violations during home voting has decreased. This is due to a decrease in the number of observers due to legal restrictions, which leaves observation headquarters with no resources to monitor home voting.
  7. Moscow once again leads in the number of published reports. The capital has a strong observer community, as well as many independent commission members who stand guard over citizens' electoral rights. In 2023, the nature of reports from Moscow began to take a more typical form for the rest of the country, with reports of detentions of candidate representatives and observers.
  8. The other leading regions in terms of the number of violations were again the Moscow region and Kuban. In Krasnodar Krai, a TEC member was attacked, commission members and observers were intimidated with summonses, and discrepancies in the number of voters were found between the State Automated System of the Russian Federation " Elections" system and the acts of the commissions.
  9. Due to a decrease in the number of independent observers, less information became available on how the counting procedure was conducted.

In 2023, many striking reports demonstrated in all their glory the nature of how voting takes place at polling stations in Russia. For example, in the Lipetsk region, video surveillance cameras detected ballot box stuffing by a member of the election commission.

In Novorossiysk, at polling station 5801, a safe packet containing 535 ballots instead of 88 was canceled.

The "Map of Violations" service publishes information about possible violations of electoral legislation. The collection of information is based on the principle of crowdsourcing: observers, voters, and members of commissions report on observed violations during pre-election period and at polling stations on Election Day using a form on the website or the a hotline at 8 (800-50) 0-54-62. 8 (800-50) 0-54-62. The reports are pre-moderated.

Другие записи по теме «Map of Violations»
ReportMap of Violationsa year ago
Map of Violations 2022: Summary
In 2022, there were 709 reports of campaign violations and 1,115 reports since the beginning of the multi-day election on 9 September
ReportMap of Violationsa year ago
Map of Violations: the fight against observers in Moscow, and United Russia's secret plans in Kirov
During the week of August 9-15, the "Map of Violations," an online service of Golos, received 93 reports from 23 regions
NewsMap of Violationsa year ago
The "Golos" movement has launched a "Map of Violations" for joint elections day of 2022
Remember – falsifiers are afraid of publicity!
David Kankiya: другие материалы автора