Votes Stolen in Ingushetia

Coat_of_Arms_of_IngushetiaThe Russian opposition has repeatedly contested the results of December 2nd State Duma elections in Russia, questioning government practices, as well as official figures. Some of the most shocking numbers came from the south Caucus republics, including Chechnya and Ingushetia. According to the official tally, nearly 100% of voters came to the polls and supported the United Russia party in these Russian regions. This seemed entirely unbelievable considering that there have been two aggressive Russian wars there, several active separatist movements, and a rising crime rate.

Now, more and more people are coming out and explaining that they didn’t vote, and that their vote was counted without their knowledge. As reported on December 22nd, an action titled “I didn’t vote!” has raised 45,248 statements from local citizens over the age of 18. Participants included personal details, including passport data, and asserted that they did not vote in the election. The number of statements corresponds to around 28% of eligible voters in the region, and brings into question the results presented by the Ingush Electoral Commission. According to the voting agency, more than 98% of eligible voters cast their ballots on December 2nd.

The action is continuing, and activists are going door to door to question voters. The editorial office is also being flooded with completed statement forms from citizens who say they did not participate. Many of them have asked that the records be checked to make sure their vote wasn’t counted.

Once the collection of statements is complete, they will be presented to the Prosecutor-General’s Office for authentication.

UPDATE: As of December 23rd, at 16:43 local time, over 57,000 statements have been collected.

UPDATE 2: As of January 10th, 2008, around 90,000 statements have been collected, which corresponds to more than 50% of Ingush voters.