Russian election irregularities are to be tracked online as a special website has been launched to gather all reported violations from around the country.
Reports on the website might include photo and video evidence, and organizers hope that the information may draw attention of election committees and law enforcement bodies. The site has already received its first complainants.
Interactive virtual map
Each report submitted by campaigners – voters, members of election committees, party members and observers – will be placed on an interactive map.
Reports can be submitted through the website or via free text-messages, and in a few days time a special hotline is to start accepting reports as well.
The project, started by Golos, a Russian association of NGOs standing up for voters’ rights, and news website gazeta.ru, is aiming to “promote justice and transparency for the whole [election] campaign.”
The official announcement about the website was only released today, but some reports have already been submitted.
They, however, cannot be qualified as violations, and Andrei Buzin, head of election monitoring at Golos, gave an elaborated explanation why.
Neither water melons given away for free on a water melon day in Astrakhan, nor United Russia’s proposal to buy insurance for all first-graders in a village in the Vladimir region were illegal. Buzin wrote. Although such instances often evoke “strong feelings, wrath or shame – depending on reader’s personality,” he added.
Clarifications of election legislation will also be appearing on the website.
Its creators are calling for media and governmental bodies to carry out further probes into any irregularities submitted to the site.