Statistics point to massive fraud in Russia’s Duma vote

RFE/RL reports: When liberal rights activist Ella Pamfilova was named to head Russia’s election commission in March, she promised to clean house and oversee transparent, democratic elections.

“We will change a lot, and radically, in the way the Central Election Commission operates. A lot and radically — this is something I can promise you,” she said at the time.

However, a statistical analysis of the official preliminary results of the country’s September 18 State Duma elections points to a familiar story: massive fraud in favor of the ruling United Russia party comparable to what independent analysts found in 2007 and 2011.

“The results of the current Duma elections were falsified on the same level as the Duma and presidential elections of 2011, 2008, and 2007, the most falsified elections in post-Soviet history, as far as we can tell,” physicist and data analyst Sergei Shpilkin told RFE/RL’s Russian Service. “By my estimate, the scope of the falsification in favor of United Russia in these elections amounted to approximately 12 million votes.” [Continue reading…]

For those who might find a statistical analysis unpersuasive, perhaps the most compelling evidence of fraud can be seen in numerous CCTV videos that have been posted on YouTube showing election officials stuffing ballot boxes. And for those who are skeptical about the provenance of these videos, Russian state-funded RT has posted a compilation:


Might this be bad for the image of the beneficiary of the fraud, Vladimir Putin? Evidently not, since the most common response from RT’s devoted followers, as seen in the comments below this video, is to celebrate the channel’s transparency! Meanwhile, as for prominent news reporting on election fraud, thus far, not surprisingly, RT has none.

Once again we see at play the perverse skepticism of this era defined by selective attention, outrage, and doubt: a willingness to believe some things in the absence of actual evidence while disbelieving other things that can easily be proved. Among those afflicted with this disease, reason and facts have no traction.

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