On the eve of presidential elections, Golos Movement for Protection of Voter Rights has launched its traditional crowdsourcing service “Map of Violations.” The service collects reports from the candidates, voters, and observers, containing information about situations that can be qualified as violation of electoral legislation. “Map of Violations” reports are published without preliminary review. Although the reports are not anonymous, the information about their authors is held by the Map’s moderators and is not published online. Here are some of the most notable reports published five days prior to the elections.
The Golos Movement’s “Map of Violations” received more than 800 reports. The most widely reported violations in the first week of March were the voter coercion and election campaigning by persons who are forbidden from such activities.
Election campaigning and administrative coercion of voters at universities
The management of St. Petersburg State University of Civil Aviation is compiling lists of students who plan or don’t plan to take part in the elections. In the State Agrarian University of Northern Transurals in Tyumen, the students were forced to watch Vladimir Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. The injunction was signed by the university’s rector Elena Boyko. The students of Chapaevsk Vocational School of Chemical Engineering are obligated to take a selfie at the polling station and send it to the school’s director and their teachers before 2pm on March 18. At the Cheboksary Institute of Culture, the students were threatened with inability to collect their diplomas. The provost for academic and disciplinary affairs and the chairwoman of the Department of Acting and Directing strong-armed the students into submitting requests to vote at the Precinct Election Commission #2057, located at the Institute. In Moscow, the director of School #1409 Irina Ilyicheva promised bonus payments for those who would register at the same polling station, but the director refutes this information. The management of Kudymkar Pedagogical College made March 18 a school day for its students.
Administrative coercion at the place of work
March 18 has been declared a working day for the librarians of St. Petersburg. Having said that, they are also obligated to cast their vote at specific Precinct Election Commission. A similar demand was made by the management of School #23 in the Republic of Adygea. The school’s management insists that all teachers vote at the school, and not at their place of residence. The employees of Tolgiatti State University were reminded of the elections by the department chairwoman, who sent out a text message reminder to all of her colleagues. Gazprom’s employees at Orel were also told to submit reports about voting. The rotation workers of Luginetsky oil and gas condensate field in the Tomsk Region were threatened with the loss of bonus payments if they fail to register to vote at the specific polling station.
At Volgograd’s pre-school “Early Childhood Development Center #2,” the management asked for the copies of parents’ passports to submit applications and vote at the specific Precinct Election Commission.
The workers of Abrau Durso champaigne factory in Novorossiysk were obligated to use their working hours to campaign for the presidential candidate Boris Titov.
Unlawful actions of civil servants
The municipal head of Dobryanka in the Perm Region has been inviting companies and organizations to his office and “asking” them to provide him with lists of employees and their relatives complete with phone numbers, and to make sure they cast their votes.
In Lipetsk, the teachers, vocational school and children’s art school lecturers, as well as librarians are pressured to engage in canvassing. L. Sbitneva from the district of Severnoye Butovo in Moscow, member of the Territorial Election Commission with a deciding vote, has been actively campaigning in her social media accounts.
Campaign materials are posted on social media accounts of various heads of municipal units, such as the mayor of Cherepovets Margarita Guseva and her deputy Roman Maslov.
Access to the resources
Deputy of St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly Boris Vishnevsky complained to governor Poltavchenko about restrictions on outdoor canvassing in favor of Grigory Yavlinsky. Underaged Alina Zagitova was drawn into the March 3 rally in Moscow, held in support of the acting President, which is also a violation of the law.
The “Map of Violations” also received reports that employees of several municipal institutions were pressured to participate in support rallies. Such reports were received from the administration of Sports and Recreation Center Atlant in the district of Yasenevo, and from the Timiryazev Agricultural Academy.
On the night of March 6, a fire at the town of Borisoglebsk in the Voronezh Region consumed the car and campaign materials it held that belonged to the head of the local campaign office for Pavel Grudinin.
As of March 13, there were reports from 77 regions published on the “Map of Violations.” The leaders are Moscow and St. Petersburg (47 and 42 reports respectively) along with Samara (42), Moscow Region (38), Altay Region (31) and Republic of Chuvashia (26). Unfortunately, each new day brings new reports.
Golos Movement continues its long-term observation and reviews the reports that come from all corners of the country.