As expected, Vladimir Putin was reelected Sunday with a reported 76 percent of the vote, outpacing his nearest competitor by more than 60 points. The next morning, Ella Pamfilova, head of Russia’s Central Election Commission, claimed that the contest was one of Russia’s cleanest, with about half as many complaints of irregularities as in the 2012 presidential contest. But irregularities were still numerous. As Russians filed in and out of polling stations Sunday, reports and videos of attacks on election monitors and blatant ballot stuffing littered social media feeds. The videos came from Moscow, the Far East, Chechnya and Dagestan — among other places. So blatant were some of these acts that the results from several of these stations were annulled.
After announcing that voting was annulled at five polling stations in three Russian regions during a news conference Monday, Pamfilova gave an update: “Information has been received during my speech that the voting results have been canceled at two polling stations in Kemerovo region.” She also said the commission was investigating similar incidents in Krasnodar.
One of the precincts that saw its results annulled was in Lyubertsy, in the Moscow region. Videos posted online show two election workers coordinating the casual stuffing of ballots into a box in the center of a polling station. After the video, taken by a CCTV camera, circulated online, police and election commission officials went to the polling station to investigate. The chairman of the local election commission and a member of the election commission were dismissed from their posts.