Newsletters / Media Alert: Interim Results of March 18 Election Polling Station Observation

Today Sunday March 18 Open Russia, Alexey Navalny, Ksenia Sobchak, Dmitry Gudkov and thousands of other activists have been conducting nationwide election monitoring in order to report and document instances of falsification during Russia’s presidential “election”.

As we expected there has been widespread fraud and our activists have captured many incidents on camera, video and countless individual testimonies. Independent observers have played a crucial role this year in highlighting fraud in order to show people in the clear light of day that what happened today was not an election, but rather an organised and controlled process for reappointing incumbent president Vladimir Putin to the presidency.

Observers have noted an absence of younger voters, while pensioners have been coming out in the hundreds to cast their votes. According to Open Russia Chairman Alexander Soloviev who is observing Moscow’s Novokosinskaya polling station remarked that “many of [the pensioners] openly admit that they have been sent here….”

Open Russia has been campaigning for an active protest at the polling stations: instead of boycotting the election on your couch, get out and make your voice heard on the ballot paper. Hundreds of people have submitted pictures of their spoiled ballot papers with the tagline “#Enough” drawn across it.

Open Russia founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky has commented on today’s events:

“I am sure, as you are, that they’ll get the turnout that was long ago planned. I am absolutely certain that our battle with falsifications will be brushed over by the punishment of a few individual scapegoats.

Me and my friends at Open Russia are doing everything we can to observe and report what’s going on at the polling stations and we’re calling people out to vote.

Why? For the same reason people attend demonstrations that are ignored by Russia’s criminal government. They ignore it while they cannot see that there are many of us and we are ready to take action. Then they’ll bring out the batons, then they’ll begin putting people in prison and maybe even start shooting. Then we will win.”

For Open Russia commentary on the observation initiative in English please contact:
Alexander Soloviev, Chairman of the Open Russia Movement — a.solovyev@openrussia.org (+7 926 076-23-11)
Polina Nemirovskaya, Open Russia Human Rights coordinator — p.nemirovskaia@openrussia.org (+7 960 255-66-71)

For updates and further information on Open Russia’s election monitoring initiative please contact us at: info@khodorkovsky.com

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