21.09.2012 / 11:12

Early Voting Fraud Reports Continue Arriving

Identical seals, ejection of voters... Still, the CEC needs names and facts.

The reports about undemocratic and illegal procedures keep on arriving from Belarusian polling stations where advance polling is being held.

Polling stations fraud

Thus, two observers were ejected from a polling station in Electoral District No. 33 in Homiel on Thursday after they asked the precinct election commission about the voter turnout, BelaPAN says.

The representatives of the Campaign for Fair Elections, wanted to compare official turnout figures with their own, BelaPAN says.

Observers in Homiel accuse precinct election commissions of grossly exaggerating the voter turnout in the first three days of early voting.

According to the precinct commission, 105 people have cast their ballots at one of the polling stations in Electoral District No. 34, human rights defender Leanid Sudalienka says. According to observers, only 22 people have voted. At Polling Station No. 18, observers are seated in the corridor and not allowed to move closer to see what is going on.

At another Homiel polling station, observers monitoring the ongoing elections for the House of Representatives have accused precinct commissions of vote fraud.

The observers estimate that 3,966 people cast their ballots on the first three days of the vote at 28 of the districts 33 polling stations. The precinct commissions claim that a total of 4,447 people voted.

Observers at one polling station saw only 69 people cast their ballots, but the precinct commission insists that 147 people voted.

The official turnout figures were twice as high as the actual number of voters at two more polling stations, an observer says.

These so-called elections do not differ in any way from what we saw two or four years ago, the activist said. There are no elections, there is a farce and people understood that long ago. Thats why we see that where there are no university dormitories only two to five percent of the voters came to the polling stations on the first three days of early voting.

Around 24 percent of the voters cast their ballots at two polling stations located inside universities between September 18 and 20, an observer says.

In Brest, the ballot boxes used at all polling stations in Electoral District No. 1 in Brest are sealed at the end of the day with the same seal, Dzianis Turchaniak, a campaign aide to an opposition parliamentary candidate told on Thursday.

I examined the ballot boxes myself and found the seals on all of them to be identical, said Mr. Turchaniak, a member of the Movement for Freedom. This makes the sealing procedure pointless. The chairpersons of the precinct election commissions in the district cannot guarantee that the ballot boxes for early voting at their polling stations are sealed with their seals.

Students under attack

Students keep on complaining about forced early voting. They are threatened to be driven away from dormitories, to have problems at exams. However, Mikalaj Lazavik, the secretary of the Central Election Commission told Nasha Niva that such reports are only guesses and have no ground.

Give me the names of these people [who force to vote] and I will sort it out. Give me the facts. But you have only loads of fantasies and guesses on the Internet, the official told.

The students of Belarusian National Technical University tell why they vote early (in Belarusian and Russian)


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