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In contrast to such Russian regions where the election observers' movement is strong (in particular: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Republic of Tatarstan, Krasnodar Krai and Nizhny Novgorod, Sverdlovsk and Moscow oblasts), the true results of the election in Bryansk Oblast have been mystery for many years. In this region, control over the course of the election is conducted to a small extent. This happens because of the weakness of local civil society, which did not develop strong opposition that could resist the authorities as well as did not encourage independent observation movements.
Electoral analysts such as Sergey Shpilkin have been proving for many years that the results in Bryansk Oblast election are seriously falsified (see Sergey Shpilkin's diagram on the presidential election 2018 in Bryansk Oblast). However, there was a lack of undeniable, comprehensible evidence that would confirm this thesis.
In order to analyze the results of the presidential election in Bryansk Oblast in 2018, the participants of the "Observers in Action" project observed the voting day in 15 electoral commissions in Bryansk (city) (PECs №18, №20, №80, №86 and №165), Bryansky District (PECs №220 and №232), Zlynkovsky District (PEC №417), Klimovsky District (PEC №506), Klintsovsky District (PECs №555, №557 and №561), Pogarsky District (PEC №714), Pochepsky District (PEC №776), and Rognedinsky District (PEC №819).
We focused in particular on the search for the difference between the official turn-out and the number of people who actually gave their votes at the polling station. In addition, we were looking for two electoral irregularities: the ballot stuffing and multiple votes. However, our goal did not include the impact of election fraud on the results of individual candidates in the election of the President of Russia.
Our analysis showed that the election results in the Bryansk Oblast were falsified in almost every polling station in almost all the observed districts. Our observations demonstrate that the falsifications in the Bryansk Oblast depend on the place where the vote took place. There were far more falsifications in the countryside than in the capital city of Bryansk.
The most common type of electoral fraud was the so-called rewriting of protocols (editing the numbers in electoral protocols), which we observed in 10 out of 15 electoral commissions analysed (it happened in PECs №18, № 165, №220, №232, №417, №555, №557, №561, №714 and №819). Far less popular way of falsification was ballot stuffing, which we saw in one quater of the electoral commissions (PECs №220, №232, №714 and №819). This kind of falsification was not massive - only in one electoral commission it happened 9 times, but in others there were just single cases. Even more rare method of election falsification was multiple voting, which we noticed in one fourths of PECs (PECs №220, №714 and №819). This fraud was not massive.
In total, in all election commissions observed by us in the region, we recorded the theft of 4552 votes, as well as 14 cases of ballot stuffing and 10 cases of multiple voting. Thus, the scale of electoral fraud in Bryansk Oblast places the region between the Belgorod Oblast – where there was the smallest scale of irregularities – and two republics of the North Caucasus - Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardo-Balkaria.
polling stations observed
hours of monitoring of the recordings from the polling stations
PECs with observed falsifications
votes found missing from the official data turnout
observed cases of ballot stuffing
observed cases of multiple voting
The list of electoral commissions with the highest number of irregularities:
The number of falsified votes: In 3 PECs with unprecedented cases of massive falsifications the official protocols included 806 (PEC №557), 732 (PEC №555) and 718 (PEC №819) votes more than the actual number of voters.
To what extent the turnout in the polling station was overstated? In 5 unprecedented PECs in this respect, the voter turnout in PECs was overestimated by 40% (PECs №555 and №557), 31% (PEC №819), 30% (PEC №417), and 26% (PEC № 561).
The number of observed facts of ballot-stuffing. In one of the electoral commissions we observed, in which there were these frauds at the largest scale (PEC №232), we noticed 9 such cases.
The number of observed facts of multiple voting. In one PEC where these falsifications took place at the largest scale (PEC №714), we observed 6 cases of multiple voting.