CEC of Russia recommended regional commission of Primorye to recognize results of early elections of Governor invalid

19.09.2018

On 19 September 2018 the CEC of Russia taking into account carefully analyzed information decided to recommend the Election Commission of Primorsky Krai to recognize the results of early elections of the Governor of Primorsky Krai invalid. This decree was adopted during the regular 182nd meeting of the Commission.

After studying all circumstances and identified facts related to possible violations during the early elections of the Governor of the Primorsky Krai, relevant materials will be sent to the competent federal law enforcement agencies.

"Preparations for the elections on 9 September and voting on this day in Primorsky Krai took place without any incidents and violations. We should pay respect to the Election Commission of Primorsky Krai, which organized this work professionally and at a high level," said Ella Pamfilova. "It should be noted that the work on the preparations for the second round of the gubernatorial elections was sufficiently organized and calm both on the part of the election commissions, and on the part of the headquarters of candidates. On the day of the repeat voting, the CEC of Russia also did not raise any complaints about the work of the election commissions of the region."

"In the vast majority of precinct election commissions of cities and settlements there were no complaints, no concerns. And only a few local spots, unfortunately, undermined a fair, honest, transparent work of the large numbers of people," said Ella Pamfilova.

These most serious violations did not allow the CEC of Russia to recognize the results of the elections. "The elections were held, but we cannot recognize them, in our opinion, they are invalid, which is why the CEC of Russia prepared such a recommendation," said the head of the CEC.

As a result of 16 September 2018 repeat vote as of 10:00 17 September 2018 99.16% of the voting results’ records were entered into the GAS "Vybory" system. The difference in the number of votes cast for each candidate was only 7,650 votes. On 18 September 2018 the territorial election commission of the Soviet district of Vladivostok made a decision, according to which the results of the repeat voting in the early elections of the Governor of Primorski Krai at 13 polling stations were invalidated, says a corresponding decree of the CEC of Russia.

"Everyone wondered why the figure of 99.16% seemed frozen? We were trying to figure out what was going on. Why the voting results’ records from 13 precinct election commissions were not input into the system? This fact has the key, essential importance for determining the results of the elections throughout the territory of the Primorsky Krai," said Ella Pamfilova. "In this case the actions of the commission were legitimate."

24 246 voters were included in the lists of voters in these 13 polling stations where the voting results were invalidated. It is impossible to determine the validity of the will of these people because of the following circumstances.

1) to the Deputy Chairman of the TEC of the Soviet District of Vladivostok Eugene Kalmykov, shortly after midnight, strangers entered the premises of the territorial election commission. They called themselves the representatives of the candidate Andrey Ischenko and interfered with the work of the commission.

"Unauthorized people entered the premises of the territorial election commission and allowed themselves to freely enter any room. They identified themselves with all credential types of representatives of the candidate Ishchenko. I wouldn't say that they acted in some way against the law, but they created hindrances to the work of the Commission, primarily to the work that could enable the Commission to fully study documents submitted by the precinct commissions. There were about 15-20 people. The Commission carried out reception on two floors of the administrative building. We did not impede the work of the representatives of candidate Ischenko. People identifying themselves with all credentials as representatives of candidate Ischenko would now and then rush into the room. They urged and hastened, interfered with the work, interfered with the verification of control ratios in voting results’ records of precinct election commissions. They interfered with the receipt of documentation. This situation continued until 5-6 o'clock in the morning. Precinct Election Commissions complained that these people tried to confiscate documentation and exercised pressure on them," he said.

On 17 September services of the Agency for Emergency Situations of the Primorsky Krai unjustifiably restricted access to the Territorial Election Commission of the Soviet District of Vladivostok city under the pretext of appearance of smoke. This led to disorganization and confusion in the work of the election commission. In this case, the integrity of election documentation could not be provided because the documents remained in the premises of the Commission for a long time without protection and supervision by Commission Members and other participants of the electoral process. The most important documents were left unattended. Thus, the procedure of entry of data into GAS "Vybory" was aborted in the District Commissions No. 802, 808, 810, 812, 813, 816, 831, 833, 834, 837, 838, 839, 880, as well as the procedure of entering data in the enlarged form of the summary table.

The document notes that these facts, together with other indirect indications allow to conclude with high probability that data contained in these voting results’ records was tampered with by unknown persons with the aim to directly influence the election results. Thus, the inability of reliable determination of expression of will of 24 246 voters, with a minimum difference in the number of votes cast for each candidate, eliminates possible determination of the election results, which would reflect the real will of the voters of the entire Primorsky Krai.

The study of submitted to the CEC of Russia appeals, internal system data and other information from various sources allows to conclude that in some cases, mainly at the final stage, there have been serious violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation on elections during the repeat vote in the early elections of the Governor of the Primorsky Krai and in the establishment of its results. In particular, the decree of the CEC of Russia indicates ballot box stuffing, modification of data contained in the summary voting results’ records of PECs, failure to follow established procedure for processing the results of voting by the territorial election commissions, coercion of voters to participate in voting, bribing of voters by candidates.

It is established that the data voting results’ records of the number of precinct election commissions on voting results were entered into GAS "Vybory" with a significant delay of over 10 hours or more. It was only on the morning of 17 September 2018 that data was entered into the GAS "Vybory" for polling station No. 1916, 1918, 1919, 1932, 1947, 1961, 1968, 2829, 2828, 2866 (all in the city of Nakhodka), 1971, and 2829 2866 (all in the city of Ussuriisk).

Apart from the cases of unreasonable delays in entry of voting results’ records data, another reason for distrust of election results is the revealed facts of re-entry of voting results’ data, during which some other data was introduced into GAS "Vybory" that was different from that contained in the initially completed final voting results’ records of the PEC.

The CEC of Russia established that during the processing of the voting results in the TEC of the city of Ussuriisk and Artyom city, the data contained in 19 voting results’ records on the voting results of a number of precinct election commissions, after they were entered in GAS "Vybory" has been modified and re-entered into the system. This caused a significant change in the results of voting at the relevant TEC.

The above circumstances raise a serious concern on the part of the CEC of Russia, since they obviously contain signs of violation of the rights of candidates and the constitutional right of citizens to elect their representatives, which, in turn, indicates a violation of the fundamental principle of legitimization of state authorities and local self-government through free and periodic elections enshrined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

The CEC of Russia noted that it is impossible to appoint a recount of votes, because this procedure will not eliminate existing doubts about the validity of the will of the voters at the said election.

"A huge number of members of precinct election commissions honestly and faithfully performed their duties. They professionally, without yielding to any pressure, honestly carried out their duty. But someone crosses out two and a half years of our joint efforts to cleanse the system of fraud," said the Chairperson of the CEC of Russia.

"We will not rest and will not allow "switchmen" to be made responsible for all these violations," said Ella Pamfilova. "Following the results of work of our colleagues in the region, we will send all materials to the law enforcement agencies. It is very important to find organizers of all these group conspiracies aimed at falsification. In this or in any other region. In this case, this is our attitude. And we defended and will defend members of election commissions who work honestly."