Head of Reuters Russia
Mr. Andrew Osborn
Dear Mr. Osborn!
We have reviewed the inquiry of Reuters Russia.
We would like to thank Reuters reporters for covering the process of voting at polling stations during conduct of the all-Russian vote on approval of changes to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Your reporters, alongside 11 000 representatives of other outlets and more than 526 000 observers representing 18 political parties and a huge number of civic organizations, had an opportunity to attend polling stations at all days during the conduct of voting and to make sure that the process of vote is transparent and legitimate.
Moreover, the technology of video surveillance was utilized at polling stations in 81 out of 85 subjects of the Russian Federation. Such a wide-spread use of the mentioned technology has no parallels in the election practice worldwide.
Such range of wide and real opportunities for mass media, including foreign media, as in the Russian Federation to witness the observation of all the above mentioned principles cannot be found even in a number of countries of developed democracy. For example, there is no such an opportunity in Great Britain during counting of votes in counting centers.
Concerning the questions in your inquiry, the CEC of Russia has no materials in support of so-called “mobilization plans” that were stated. If you have concrete facts proving possible violations, we suggest that you address the corresponding law-enforcement agency or send them to the CEC of Russia for reviewing and subsequent redirection to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
Speculations on the compulsion of voters to participate in the vote have no factual background that can be checked. Besides, State Institution “Jilishnik” is not affiliated with the government of Moscow region where reporters carried out observation and kindergarten is not a state organization. Moreover, such, in actual fact anonymous, statements are questionable and cannot be used as proves of violations.
Differences in turn-out at different polling stations in Reutov of Moscow region are objectively conditioned by the fact that unlike neighboring polling stations the PS № 2668 did not utilize the provisioned by the Order of the All-Russian Vote mechanism of voting outside the premises of the polling station. Other polling stations in Reutov utilized the mechanism and many citizens used this opportunity. Respectively the number of voters at those polling stations was higher. It is essential to note that according to opinion polls this type of voting against the background of complicated epidemiological situation turned out to be very useful for citizens. That being said the turn-out numbers similar to those at the PS № 2668 were registered at other polling stations in the territory of Reutov.
There were no complaints from observers including those representing 18 political parties and who were present at all polling stations in Reutov. Moreover, there were no complaints from members of precinct election commission № 2668 that was formed from nominees of four political parties including opposition ones. Overall, representatives of 38 active political parties were included in precinct election commissions in the Russian Federation.