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07.04.2020, . 18:53

Observations in Rostov Repeat Voting Election of President of the Russian Federation 3 July 1996

Linda Edgeworth

During the conduct of the repeat voting for the election of the president of the Russian Federation, an IFES observation team was deployed to observe election activity in the Rostov Oblast. The team visited precincts in 4 territories within Rostov and rural villages outside the city. The Rostov Oblast serves approximately 3,301,260 voters. The oblast is divided into 62 Territories encompassing over 2,600 polling stations. During the general election on 16 June 1996, the electorate for the oblast as a whole favored Zyuganov who received 34.99% of the votes cast to 29.08% cast for Yeltsin. In this region of the federation generally considered to be part of the red zone, voters in the city of Rostov caused the margin of victory for Zyuganov to be less than what Communist supporters had hoped. What was most immediately noticeable to the IFES team was that there was no campaign material for Zyuganov to be seen anywhere. Only pro-Yeltsin campaign materials were evident, including banners over major intersections and posters and signs displayed on buildings and billboards. Reportedly the Zyuganov campaign relied heavily on a one-on-one campaign strategy including the recruitment of «babushkas» to work the train and bus stations and market places to recount the plight of citizens (especially the poor and elderly) under the Yeltsin regime and espouse the return to communism. According to a number of people with whom the team met, these efforts were aggressive, persistent and organized.

During its stay in Rostov, the team had extensive meetings with the Chairman of the Subject Election Commission, heads of the Communist and Yeltsin campaign headquarters, local government officials, and the Chairman of the Leninsky Territorial Election Commission responsible for the polling site where the counting of ballots had been observed. In the Leninsky Territory the turnout was 71% with Yeltsin gathering 67% of the votes cast and Zyuganov receiving 28%. In this same territory, Yeltsin gained 45% of the votes to 21% for Zyuganov during the 1st round election.

The IFES team was treated with the utmost courtesy throughout its stay in Rostov. At all levels, meetings with election commissions, local officials and election participants were informative, open and candid. IFES found officials and commission members at all levels well informed and confident. On all occasions, IFES was greeted with generous hospitality and open cooperation.

Election Day Observations

The conduct of election day activity could generally be described as orderly and efficient. From what the team observed it was estimated that turnout would be about 65 % - 70 %.

Organization of the Polling:

Among the polling sites visited by the IFES team, all were well organized and laid out in a manner conducive to the efficient flow of voters. Adequate secrecy booths were available for use by voters. Unlike the open non-secret voting IFES noted during the 1st round election, in Rostov Oblast the vast majority of voters used the secrecy cabins even if they had to wait for one to become available. Only occasionally did the team observe voters voting outside the secrecy booths. With only one exception, ballot boxes were maintained in mil view of the commission and observers who were present. At the one site where the ballot boxes were behind the secrecy booths, a member of the commission was assigned to keep watch over them as voters deposited their ballots and left the polling station.

While it was not used consistently at all polling places, a number of stations had expanded the information posted for review by voters which IFES believes is very useful and worthy of consideration as a permanent element in the preparations of the polling site. In particular, several sites had posted a sign, which indicated the number of voters on the voter list at the beginning of the day, and the number of ballots received by the polling station. This recommendation had apparently been made by Zhirinovsky supporters during the first round. The poster also includes a map of the polling site. At those sites where this information was posted, commission members indicated that it was helpful to them as well as to the voters, because candidate representatives and other observers asked for the information so frequently.

In Rostov Oblast IFES noted that a number of election commissions had sent invitations to vote to the voters on their lists. These invitations were brought to the polling stations by many voters and they were retained by election commission members. As far as IFES could observe the process, it appeared that for the most part, voters were consistently asked to present their passports, and the invitations were not accepted in lieu of proper identification.

There appeared to be widespread support for holding the election mid-week rather than on a weekend or holiday. Election commission members believed the mid-week voting day helped to avoid problems of voters leaving for dachas and holiday activities and that it made it easier for people to participate. It should be noted that in Rostov, which enjoys very warm weather in July, the Dom River is immediately accessible so that voters could vote and still enjoy the rest of the day in recreation. There did not appear to be abnormal or improper use of the absentee certificates. However, in Leninsky Territory where IFES observed the summarization of votes, the number of voters who applied for absentee certificates virtually doubled from 1.1% in the first round to 2.1% in the second round. Likewise, the number of voters who used absentee certificates rose from approximately .8% to 1.3%. In the general election, only .5% of the voters in the Subject at large used absentee certificates to vote, and only .6% applied for certificates, which would allow them to vote elsewhere.

Voter Lists:

In general the voters lists at all polling stations seemed well organized. Officials indicated the steps they had taken to make the appropriate corrections based on the additions and changes made in the lists for the general election. At one site, however, IFES encountered a specific problem that had raised complaints by observers. It was noted that prior to election day the polling station commission had entered all the passport identification numbers of the voters who had voted in the first round. Under the law the voter's identification number is only to be entered onto the voter list «at the request of the voter.» At this polling site every voter's number had been written on the list as the voter presented his identification during the general election. The concern expressed by the observer representing Zyuganov was that since the passport numbers had been pre-entered, anyone could sign the list next to a person's name without identity being verified and vote fraudulently. IFES had visited this polling station late in the day and noted that some a number of voter's lines where passport numbers were listed still contained no signatures. In questioning commission members about this IFES was told that they had thought this step would increase the efficiency of processing voters on election day. They acknowledged the error in entering the numbers in the first place, and the error in judgment in carrying the numbers forward to the list for the second round. In view of the exposure of their error, it is unlikely that the commission was in a position to make fraudulent use of the data and allow fraudulent voting.

The Mobile Ballot Box:

Use of the mobile ballot box to serve voters at home seemed to be adequately administered in compliance with the law. IFES had the opportunity to observe the advance preparations for use of the mobile ballot at a number of sites. At stations where the process was being carried out during IFES's presence, officials were required to count out the applications and an equal number of ballots, and to sign a receipt for the ballots being taken from the polling site. In general it appeared that the number of applications was reasonable given the total number of voters on the list. In Leninsky Territory, for example out of 53,955 voters, 4.8% voted outside the polling station. It appeared that in several cases only on official was assigned to mobile ballot box. IFES also observed that at least one observer was selected to accompany the official. In precinct #1629 the observer recruited to accompany the mobile ballot box was the observer representing Yeltsin. IFES was advised that the Zyuganov observer had accompanied the mobile ballot box in the general election. It appeared that these were the only observers present at the time of IFES's visit. Both observers were allowed to assist in the review of the applications and their sorting by neighborhood or building as the plan for delivery of the ballots was organized.

Although not directly related to specific use of the mobile ballot box, IFES encountered officials who indicated that they would review the voter list to determine who had not yet appeared at the polling site and send members door to door to encourage them to come to the polls. They assured the team that they would not take the mobile ballot box or ballots with them for this purpose. However, this door to door solicitation could provide opportunities to artificially promote applications for at home voting even if it meant a return trip to deliver ballots at a later time.

Observers:

In general, IFES noted that there were a significant number of observers present at most the polling sites they visited. In fact, at one site there were a total of 9 observers representing the two candidates, as well as a number of public associations. It became difficult to accurately identify whom individual observers were representing. At a number of sites 2 or 3 observers claimed to be representing the same candidate. In some cases IFES encountered observers who identified themselves as representatives of candidates from the first round who had not advanced to the second round. In other instances observers were identified as representing electoral associations supporting losing candidates. A number of observers from public associations were encountered including, among others, the Cossak Union, Vozroshdenie-Rutskoi, Party of Worker's Self Rule, and the Agrarian Party.

In contrast, the presence of deliberative voting members was sporadic and irregular. At the Subject level, IFES spoke with a deliberative voting member who had been a representative of Gorbachev during the first round. However, he indicated that he was maintaining his post as a deliberative voting member, but had switched his affiliation to represent Fyodorov in the second round. He had a letter of an electoral association authorizing him to make this change. The absence of deliberative voting members at polling stations in general seemed symptomatic of the vague manner in which their role and their rights and duties on election day are described in the election law. It appeared that they had simply not come by their own decision.

A number of election commissions commented on the difficulty observers had caused during the general election. Most of their complaints seemed to focus on Zyuganov or Communist Party observers. Members of commissions related instances in which these observers had allegedly tried determine how individual voters voted and to influence voters as they entered the voting booths. There seemed to be frequent references to incidents in which Communist observers tried to exert authority over members of the commissions in carrying out their duties. During IFES's presence, there did not appear to be any disruptions of polling activities by observer, although at the site where the team observed the count, observers representing both candidates became very vocal when the commission began to open the mobile ballot boxes without having first canceled the unused ballots. When the commission agreed to accomplish the cancellation of the ballots before continuing, observers settled down very quickly.

In general, IFES noted that Communist Party observers seemed to be well organized. At the headquarters office for example, staff had prepared a chart where notations could be made as observers called in throughout the day. They also seemed to have a log on which observers' complaints or comments could be recorded. It is possible that due to their level of preparation, these observers were more ready to raise an objection or question as they noted any deviation from established procedure or infraction. It is possible that members of commissions were simply more sensitive to the level of scrutiny with which these observers carried out their observations. Their presence during the second round may also have added to the pressure on election commissions, since some of these observers had raised complaints against the same commissions in the first round.

As IFES spoke with some of the observers personally, most acknowledged that the general conduct of the polling was satisfactory, although in at least one instance, an observer indicated that in the general election she had not been given a certified copy of the protocol. Indeed, there was some question as to whether IFES would be given a copy of the protocol at the territorial level. It seems likely that there still may be some question as to the understanding of commissions about the rights of observers in this regard.

Counting of Votes:

The polling station IFES had selected to observe the counting of votes had been the subject of controversy in the general election when Zyuganov observers noted that the precinct protocol did not accurately reflect the votes cast for their candidate that they had recorded for themselves 'as they watched the counting. IFES was led to believe that they had objected to the protocol before it left the polling station to be delivered to the territorial commission. Apparently the observers became very vocal about the discrepancy they felt existed causing the Chairman of the Polling Station Election Commission to initiate the recounting of the stacks of sorted ballots. Ultimately, the protocol was corrected. During the repeat voting, the counting once again got off to a rocky start when the same observers complained that the unused ballots had not been canceled before the first ballot box was opened, and that their view was blocked by the commission members surrounding the table. Once these issues were resolved, the actual counting of ballots went smoothly. The number of ballots in the mobile ballot boxes matched the number of applications, and the commission went to lengths to recount the stacks of sorted ballots to ensure their resulting totals were correct. IFES noted, however, that unlike the technique observed in Moscow during the general election, no tally sheets were used. Moscow commission members had indicated that they found the tally sheets useful. IFES would also suggest that use of a tally sheet not only provides an additional layer of documentation supporting the reported results, it also provides greater visibility for observers who can see and hear for themselves how the ballots are being read out and noted on the tally sheets.

Although the counting activity went smoothly, completion of the protocol did not. In fact, it took longer to complete the protocol than it did to accomplish the counting. In particular, the chairman and a member IFES was led to believe was the secretary of the commission had a great deal of difficulty in completing the calculations for the ballot accountability portion of the protocol. They were working from the formula given to polling stations in their instructions as to which sets of line items added together were to equal the entries on other line items. IFES noted that their work copies had lots of adjustments and corrections as they tried to achieve the required results among the various sets of calculations. They ultimately ran out of blank forms. Once they were satisfied that they had determine the correct figure to enter into each line item, the chairman left the polling station and went to the local administration to get more forms. In the interim, the secretary read off what was purported to be the final correct figures as IFES made up its own handwritten copy of the results. IFES noted that on the secretary's copy even the «final» figures has been written over and adjusted. The secretary said that everything balanced perfectly and indicated that IFES could check the calculations for themselves on the handwritten copy of the results the team had made for its own record. It immediately became apparent to the secretary and to IFES that an error still existed in the balancing of used, unused and spoiled ballots to the total number of ballots received by the polling station. They had apparently misapplied the formula balancing the used, unused and spoiled ballots to the total number of voters on the voter list instead. As a result of their miscalculation, their protocol would have been ten ballots off in the ballot accountability portion.

Upon the chairman's return from the local administration, he, the secretary and another member of the commission were clearly confused as to how the problem should be resolved. Ultimately, IFES believes they manufactured a correction to achieve the required balancing. To «correct» the problem they merely added ten to the number of canceled ballots. When they had produced the final protocol just minutes later, IFES asked how they had determined where the correction had to be made and was told that they had recounted the un-issued ballots. However, during the canceling of these ballots earlier in the evening they had been torn in half. In addition, although IFES remained present during the entire time after the error on the protocol was discovered, no additional counting activity took place. In fact, the packaged materials had already been removed from the room. The correction appeared to be instantaneous. IFES believes the correction was simply an artificial adjustment made out of frustration and not knowing what else to do. IFES later learned that the chairman was a new official serving in this capacity for the first time.

It is acknowledged that although the ballot accountability portion of the protocol was not completed correctly, the vote totals for the candidates did appear to have been reported accurately.

IFES believes that a thorough review of the accountability and reporting procedure needs to be accomplished and that the protocol needs to be redesigned to make it easier for commission members to use. There are a number of calculations, which are necessary, which are not evident on the face of the protocol itself. In addition, there does not yet seem to be a reliable audit trail created beginning with the printing and distribution of ballots. Officials with whom IFES met acknowledged that sometimes polling site commissions do not thoroughly count the number of ballots in their possession before the voting begins, relying instead on the number they are told have been delivered. The ballot accountability portion is the part of the protocol, which is least by both commission members and observers. The steps in completing the accountability portion are also the least transparent. The fact that precinct commissions are given the formula for balancing the figures combined with the fact that the State Automated System will not allow entries that do not balance perfectly creates an urgency which potentially encourages officials to make artificial adjustments just to be able to close out their activities. This component of the counting process needs much attention if there is to be consistent, accurate and reliable reporting.

Territorial Summon of Results:

The IFES team was impressed with the efficiency and professionalism of the Territorial Commission in Leninsky Territory although the overall process at the territorial level in Rostov seemed to have some differences from the procedures observed in Moscow during the general election. At the time of the team's arrival at approximately midnight, the majority of polling stations had already submitted their protocols. Out of the 30 precincts reporting to this territorial headquarters, no protocol had to be returned to the polling station for reverification. (It is impossible to determine if any other precinct had difficulty in preparing its protocol and had to make adjustments in order to balance as occurred in the polling station where IFES observed the counting process.)

As a matter of procedure, each polling station was required to sign a log in which the time of the submission and acceptance of materials by the Territorial Election Commission was recorded. A panel of commission members reviewed each protocol and manually verified that the figures had been balanced. Upon completion of this step, the protocol was taken to the room where the computer was located and the technician entered the data. IFES noted a significant difference between the manner in which this part of the process was carried out in Rostov Oblast, and the way it had been accomplished in Moscow during the general election. At the Leninsky Territory, no member of the polling station commission was present in the room when the data entry was done. Nor was there a printout of the entries for the precinct generated so that the polling site commission member could verify that the data entry had been accurately typed. In Moscow verification by the polling site commission member had been somewhat standard although not handled in the same exact way by different territorial commission. IFES believes that this verification contributes an important safeguard ensuring that the territorial protocol accurate reflects the figures on the precinct protocol. In Rostov, however, the chairman of the Territorial Commission maintained a parallel table on which he recorded all the figures from the individual protocols.

When IFES asked if it would be possible to get a printout based on the data entry related to individual precincts, the chairman indicated that it would not be possible. He said that only when all precincts had reported would be issue a cumulative summary table. There did not seem to be a practical answer as to why a precinct report could not be generated. Rather, it seemed to be a matter of policy rather than any mechanical limitation. Ultimately, after the last precinct had reported and the final protocols had been certified by the Territorial Commission, IFES was given a printout of the summary table. It was not signed or stamped. IFES had been shown the officially certified copies, and was advised that it was the handwritten protocol, which was to be considered official for the reporting of territorial results, and that the SAS copies were supporting documents.

The chairman advised IFES that when the data was transmitted, it was sent directly to the Subject Commission. However, when IFES asked about whether the transmission also went to the Central Election Commission, he said that it did not go directly to the CEC, accept as it was transmitted through the Subject Commission. This fact is contrary to what IFES had been led to understand through its meetings with members and staff of the Central Election Commission. Based on information gained at the CEC level, IFES had understood that the transmission of precinct protocols at the territorial level was directed to both the CEC and SEC levels simultaneously. IFES would suggest that simultaneous transmission of precinct data to both levels could be instrumental in avoiding allegations that Subject protocols do not always accurately reflect data summarized at the territorial level. Simultaneous transmission would make it virtually impossible for manipulations to occur without being caught within the election administrative hierarchy.

The chairman was candid about what he thought were areas that needed refinement in the future. Among them was more definitive instruction of polling site commissions regarding their accountability for all ballots assigned to them, and use of the protocol. He volunteered that he believed that precinct commissions were not always careful about counting for themselves the ballots that were delivered to them. He agreed that the protocol should be redesigned to make it easier for officials to understand and fill out accurately.

He also acknowledged that there had been complaints filed with his commission during the first round, and that their commission had overturned polling place commission decisions on a some occasions. He acknowledged, for example, that the polling site where officials had entered the passport numbers of all the voters who had voted in the first round onto the voter list had acted improperly. However, he indicated that once it had been done, there was no viable way to remedy the situation. There was no time to recreate the voter lists in advance of election day. He had apparently talked to the observers who had complained and, according to his opinion, they had accepted the fact that the commission had made the error in an attempt to speed up the processing of voters on election day.

General Issues Related to the Election Environment:

In general, the voting at the polling stations was orderly and only minor violations were noted at most sites. However, certain circumstances were apparent that suggest fairly significant inequities most likely occurred in the pre-election day period.

Alleged Abuses of Official Authority in the Campaign Process:

From its very first contacts the team noted an apparent and sometimes blatant bias among local officials whose pro-Yeltsin stance. At its most subtle, this favoritism was expressed in terms of implied criticisms of Communist Party observers, and emphasized reassurances that complaints by Zyuganov supporters were unjustified or fabricated. At the most extreme, the IFES team encountered references to pro-Yeltsin activities actively engaged in and paid for by local administrations.

In one of the more serious instances, a head of a local administration in a territory outside the city of Rostov was very candid about his own efforts to ensure that voters would favor Yeltsin at the polls. He discussed with IFES team members the pro-Yeltsin campaign strategy designed and implemented by the local administration and funded from the administrative budget. The strategy involved preparation of pro-Yeltsin propaganda and recruitment and payment of individuals to distribute them to voters. The team was advised that no such funds were expended for similar purposes in support of Zyuganov. This official, who had been appointed to his post, also indicated that the local administration had «taken other measures» to ensure that the community voted for Yeltsin and indicated that they would «make sure they didn't let the President down.» When pressed as to how this kind of activity could be reconciled with provisions of law, which preclude officials from engaging in campaign activity in their official capacity, he did not seem to have much difficulty justifying the position of the administrative body. He reiterated that Yeltsin had actually visited the territory, and that, as the IFES team understood it, the community had recently received at least part of 11 billion rubles which the president had promised which had prompted the administration's interest in seeing that the president was reelected.

Concern was expressed by the Mr. L. Ivanchenko, Deputy to the Duma, former Governor of the Oblast, and current head of the Communist Party Campaign Headquarters in Rostov, that local officials had formed a «shadow» campaign organization, which had been registered by the Ministry of Justice. One such group called «Home for the People» sent a solicitation letter requesting financial contributions for the conduct of charitable activities in the region, organization and conduct of youth programs and projects, consultancy and information services for the public, and to acquire «printed and advertising materials for the conduct of election so the bodies of state power.» IFES noted that nothing in the letter made reference to the presidential campaign. The amount being asked for in the letter was 5 million rubles. In fact, the letter provided an account number in which the funds were to be deposited that Mr. Ivanchenko acknowledged was not related to the electoral fund of the president. However the signature on the letter was purportedly that of the Vice Mayor of Rostov. It was alleged that the letter had been sent to directors of state enterprises, utility companies, work collectives and collective farms. While nothing in the letter pointed to a specific violation of the law, leaders at the Communist Party headquarters expressed concern that this public association is a «shadow» organization which is actually an extension of Yeltsin's campaign apparatus and that the funds channeled through its account were probably used for pro-Yeltsin propaganda, side stepping spending limits and campaign disclosure requirements. Their major concern was that this kind of fund raising organization was not subject to any controls thereby providing a loophole, which could be subject to abuse of the campaign finance laws.

During its visit to Rostov, IFES also received a copy of an instructional document which was provides recommendations and discusses procedures which should be followed in developing information and propaganda for the repeat voting to increase voter turnout and to promote a Yeltsin victory. This instructional document was created by the «Oblast Headquarters for Yeltsin Support.» According to its title page, however, the target audience for these detailed instructions is not only the staff of the regional Yeltsin campaign offices, but also to local and regional administrations. Among the details covered in the instructions were admonitions that certain events and actions related to the campaign had become «inadequate and insufficient' during the second round. The activities being described included «organization of anti-Communist meetings; slashing criticism of Zyuganov and communists; and, anonymous criticism.» Aside from the fact that these instructions were directed to administrators who are precluded under the law from engaging in campaign activities in their official capacity, distribution of anonymous propaganda is also illegal.

There was no way to ascertain the impact that these instructions had on decisions or activities actually undertaken by local administrative authorities. However, there is a legitimate question as to whether the adequate and strictly enforced boundaries between campaign and administrative functions have been sufficiently drawn. And, of course, the question as to appropriateness and legality of distribution of instructional materials, which promote illegal campaign activities, deserves scrutiny whether or not such activities are actually implemented.

The blurred division between the separate functions of administrators and elected deputies in their official capacities and as participants in campaign organizations was not necessarily one sided. IFES learned that Valentin A. Kolesnikov, the head of the Yeltsin campaign headquarters in Rostov had taken leave of his post with the regional administration as Vice Chief of the Inspection Department to work on the campaign. As a Deputy to the Duma, the head of the Communist Party campaign in Rostov, however, acknowledged his use of State Duma letterhead for certain campaign related communications. (According to a complaint filed in Moscow, Zyuganov also used Duma letterhead and resources for a mailing to local officials to assure them that if he were elected they would not lose their posts.)

Perhaps it was only an unfortunate coincidence, however, IFES found during its election day visit to the Communist Party Headquarters that their phone lines had been cut off. IFES was advised that although the phone line had been restored their fax line had not been repaired. The staff expressed their belief that the fax line had not been restored to interrupt their communications with their other campaign offices throughout the federation and particularly in Moscow. They had apparently maintained constant communications with their other offices during the general election. According to staff at the headquarters, one of their local campaign offices had also lost their electricity that morning.

Non-Responsiveness Regarding Filed Complaints:

The Communist Party representatives expressed a frustration that complaints filed with the Procurator General Y.I. Skuratov in Moscow regarding alleged violations in the conduct of the first round of elections had never been resolved. In their letters Moscow, they make reference to their concern that Mr. Posidelov, the Oblast Procurator General would not be able to organize an objective investigation, citing the traditional dependence on the local procurator's office on the local administration. In one instance the campaign headquarters filed a complaint regarding 113 validated ballots, of which about 50 were pre-marked for Yeltsin, which were allegedly discovered at polling station #l98 of the Zernograd region on the day before the election. According to the allegation, a member of the precinct election commission had been asked to affix his signature to complete the certification of the ballot and had refused. The campaign headquarters office claims to have photocopies of the pre-marked ballots as well as a copy of a letter from the member of the commission who refused to sign them. A complaint was filed on 16 June 1996, but apparently the only response they have received is that the case is under investigation. None of these cases has been resolved or ruled upon.

In reviewing a copy of the original letter of application, IFES was not able to determine what evidence had been provided to substantiate grounds on which the complaint was based. For example, no reference was made in the letter that the campaign headquarters had copies of the ballots in question or who what happened to the original ballot papers.

Nor did the application mention the letter signed by the precinct commissioner who they claimed refused to certify the allegedly falsified ballots. In addition, the complaint charges that the ballots had been delivered to the polling station separately than the official supply of ballots but no other information is provided.

Observers also complained that in some instances they were denied access to the polling station while others were removed from the polling station during the count. Other observers have allegedly complained that they were denied certified copies of the polling station protocol. With regard to these instances it is not clear whether any formal complaint has been filed.

Given the limited time and opportunity to review the issues involved, it would be impossible to fully verify any of the allegations made. It is clear, however, that the issues raised point to weaknesses in aspects of the legal frame work as well as the process by which they are adjudicated. As Chairman Yusef of the Subject Election Commission pointed out, allegations of impropriety were made by both sides. However, Zyuganov supporters may have legitimate reasons to question the impartiality of some local and regional administrative authorities.

There were also applications filed regarding alleged discrepancies or «falsifications» of results in 11 of the oblast's 62 territories. Reportedly these complaints arose from allegations by Zyuganov and Communist Party observers that data in the protocols they received at polling stations on election day and data provided by these territorial election commissions differed. In some cases the alleged difference was significant. For example, complainants allege that in Veselovsk the total for Zyuganov was reduced by 352 votes while votes cast for Lebed were reduced by 1407. Their claim indicates that in contrast, the votes for Yeltsin were increased by 1759. In Tselnisk region allegations suggest that similar manipulations involved 1182 additional votes reported for Yeltsin. In the other territories similar transpositions were alleged involving smaller numbers of votes. As of the date of repeat voting no resolution of these cases has been forthcoming. The campaign headquarters claims that the investigations have simply been stalled and that the procurator general has not given the cases a full investigation. In view of the layers of transparency afforded by the law regarding the presence of deliberative voting members and observers it is difficult to understand how ^any pervasive falsification of results would be undertaken without jeopardy of being caught. However, unless these types of allegations are uniformly investigated, and unless affirmative action is taken to censure and penalize any proven complicity in such activities, the effectiveness of transparency measures provided in the law will be seriously shortchanged, and the integrity of the system will remain in jeopardy.







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