Coordinator of Golos Movement in the Krasnodar Region
Collage: Ksenia Telmanova
As stated in the Golos statement on election observation: "The elections of 2022 in Russia took place in the contextual bakground of a large-scale attack on the remnants of freedom of speech and freedom of expression". Nevertheless, observers, commission members, candidate teams and voters continued to document violations of the electoral laws that they experienced at polling stations and during the campaign.
A total of 1,824 reports have been posted since the start of the Map of Violations on 9 July. In 2017, when the previous election cycle of the same bodies and positions took place, the Map received 1,738 reports of irregularities. Five years later, observers and electoral stakeholders reported approximately the same number of violations of the electoral laws.
In 2022, there were 709 reports of campaign violations and 1,115 reports since the beginning of the multi-day election on 9 September.
(The same action may contain signs of more than one type of violation):
Violations before elections
Violations of campaign rules in the media - 288
Abuse of administrative resources - 171
Violations of rules for print and outdoor campaigning - 108
Unlawful denial of registration and violation of candidate rights - 85
Influence of law enforcement agencies - 80
Pressure from superiors, coercion, bribery of voters - 68
Violation of the rights of commission members, observers, and the media - 42
Violations of early voting procedures - 28
Violations during the collection of signatures - 7
Other violations before election day – 136
Violations during elections
Violations of the rights of observers, commission members, media - 321
Violations during home voting - 160
Illegal campaigning, lotteries, bribery - 112
Violations in polling station equipment - 111
Violations in voter list maintenance, denial of voting - 97
Violations before the start of voting: problems with safe packs, non-compliance with procedures, etc. - 87
Coercion, transportation of voters, control of voting - 44
Ballot stuffing, "carousels", etc. - 41
Other violations on election day - 251
Violations during the vote count
Violations of counting procedures and sequences - 81
Violations in the drawing up of protocols and making copies of them - 37
Misrepresentation of the voting results during the counting of ballots - 37
Violations by superior commissions - 17
Other violations during the counting and establishmen of results – 61
It is also worth noting that since the launch of the Violations Map for the September elections, there have been 49 reports marked as "violation of life, health, property".
The leading regions in the number of reports about violations:
Moscow - 754
Krasnodar region - 205
Moscow region - 101
Udmurtia - 96
Saint Petersburg - 80
Kirov region - 70
Pskov Oblast - 60
Tambov Oblast -37
Altai region - 32
Ryazan oblast – 32
In total, information was published from 53 regions. However, the number of reports received reflects not only the 'dirtiness' of any particular election, but also the activity of the observer community and voters on the spot. For example, not a single report was received from Karachay-Cherkessia, where the Cherkessk City Council was elected. However, the results of voting in the Caucasian republics were repeatedly questioned, and when independent observers were able to be present at polling stations, they recorded numerous irregularities and distortions of the results.
Prior to voting, more than half of the reports received related to violations of campaign rules, including in the media. State, regional and municipal media actively engaged in the election campaigns of administrative candidates and the United Russia party. This was particularly evident in the gubernatorial campaigns, where the media engaged in covert campaigning under the guise of informing the public about the activities of governors. For more details on how the campaign for the 2022 elections was conducted, see the thematic report by Golos.
The police and security services have in fact become active participants in the electoral process - every tenth report received before election day described pressure or the persecution by law enforcement agencies of candidates, their staffs or activists.
213 reports (almost 12%) contained information about the use of administrative resources and coercion to vote for certain candidates. The geography of such messages covered the entire country: from Moscow to the Primorsky Krai.
Distance electronic voting (DEV) was a focus of public attention. Its results overturned the distribution of parliamentary seats in many Moscow districts, and observers noted that the current system was not transparent and was destroying any remaining trust left in Russia’s electoral process. In turn, voters, especially in Moscow, actively reported that they were being forced to vote remotely.
Almost every third report received during voting and counting process described violations of the rights of observers, commission members and other persons entitled to be at the polling stations. The commissions made every effort to restrict the ability of observers to inspect documents, take photographs, ask questions, record violations and move around the polling stations. An increased aggressiveness on the part of members of election commissions as well as direct attacks and threats were noted by many observers.
More than a hundred reports were received of various irregularities during home voting. Observers recorded stacks of ballots neatly folded in portable ballot boxes, the inclusion of voters on voter lists without their knowledge and irregularities in the mobile voting register.
Moscow again leads in the number of published reports. The capital has a strong observer community, as well as many independent commissioners who stand behind citizens' electoral rights. Nevertheless, in 2022 the nature of reports from Moscow began to take on a form that had previously been more typical only in the rest of the country: there were reports of the detention of opposition candidates and observers. Particularly worrying was information that the practice of direct rewriting of result protocols in Moscow elections had returned.
Another region with the highest number of violations was Kuban. In the Krasnodar Krai, observers were beaten, election commission members had their tires slashed, stacks of ballots in ballot boxes were found, and voters were instructed to cast their ballots for United Russia.
But the main message from Single Election Day 2022 was a video from the resort town of Gelendzhik, where CPRF candidate Ilona Grachevskaya found a stack of ballot papers for United Russia under a polling station member's behind.
Even CEC head Ella Pamfilova had to make excuses for her Gelendzhik colleagues.
As a reminder, 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, members of commissions report observed violations during election campaigns and at polling stations on polling day using a form on their website and a Hotline Phone Number 8 800 500-54-62. Reports are pre-moderated.
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