World

Russia's Ruling Party Cheated Its Way To Supermajority

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Russia's Mariinsky Palace Russia's Mariinsky Palace

Statistical evidence proves that almost half of the recorded votes for United Russia -- the current ruling political party -- in the country's recent election were actually fraudulent. 

In a supposed historic election, United Russia won 343 seats in the Duma, the country's legislative body, giving the party a 76 percent supermajority. Moscow Times reports that with this amount of representation, the party could single-handedly change Russia's constitution, even if it had opposition from any other parties. 

However, statisticians argue that United Russia's huge win could have been plagued with voter fraud. Voting models of this year's election closely match the highly corrupted 2011 election in which United Russia again garnered a supermajority. In the previous election, voter turnout was artificially high and Moscow Times reports that 5.7 million votes for United Russia were actually fake. 

This year's election seems no different. NPR reports that at least one instance of ballot stuffing was actually caught on camera. An election worker was found taking a small stack of ballots and stuffing them into the voter's box.

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While officials claim that an investigation is underway, this is probably not an isolated incident. The other three major parties in Russia -- A Just Russia, LDPR, and the Communist Party -- never gained more than 40 percent of the vote at any polling station, according to Moscow Times. This is a statistical anomaly and almost impossible without some type of voter fraud. 

Statisticians have recalculated the results to adjust for voter fraud and found that if it was truly a fair election, United Russia would have had 40 percent of the electorate share, instead of the reported 54 percent. That would have been only a slim majority over the other oppositional parties, according to Moscow Times.

It is doubtful that this new evidence will actually lead to a re-vote or an extensive investigation by Russian officials. United Russia is President Vladimir Putin's party and with the supermajority, NPR reports that Putin can continue to rule Russia with a free hand, as he has done since 2000.

Sources: The Moscow Times, NPR / Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis/Flickr

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