In spite of widespread fraud, Putin’s United Russia Party fares worse than expected.
The Russian opposition parties are up in arms over leaked videos showing ballot boxes being stuffed by election workers during the most recent parliamentary rounds in which Prime Minister Putin’s United Russia Party fared poorer than expected in comparison to its performance in the last election. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev called the elections fair and democratic while United Russia’s opponents, corroborated by European election monitors, charged that the support for United Russia was inflated due to ballot box stuffing and widespread voting irregularities. Protests emerged in Moscow on Monday in which 300 people were arrested. Spread of the videos showing election irregularities occurred via social networks. Among the tricks included in the electoral fraud were erasable ink for marking ballots, falsified ballots, carousel voting (in which a paid person goes to vote at multiple polling stations), insecure ballot boxes and good old fashioned ballot box stuffing.