Saturday, September 24, 2016

Putin's United Russia wins Duma elections. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

It is unlikely that the Russian Duma elections held last Sunday got much attention. The world seems mesmerized by the American Gong Show, Brexit or not to Brexit or the flood of refugees into Europe driven by events in Syria.  However it is worth knowing about as it has implications for the future.

According to the Central Election Commission, United Russia received about 54% of the vote with an historic low turnout of 47.8%.  This gives the party 343 seats of 450, a 76% majority, capable of amending the constitution. Much to no one's surprise.  The fix was in which is why most voters stayed home.

There are several ways to determine if an election was fraudulent.  One is to compare actual voting with exit polls.  This could not be done in Russia as exit polls are unreliable.  Another is to count the actual number of voters who entered the polling station and compare that with the official number of votes caste.  In several polling stations where RL/RFE staff were able to count the voters entering, the number of ballots cast was double or more. Response? "Your clicker must have got stuck".

Levada Center, the only independent polling organization in Russia, found a few weeks before the election that support for United Russia was about 30%.  They were promptly declared a 'foreign agent'. Another polling firm found 44% support.  Both a far cry from the reported 54%.

The detailed results by polling station of the 96,000 polling stations are readily available on the CEC website.  Statisticians have been analyzing the data looking for anomalies and found them.

Figure 1
In free and fair elections, charting percent turnout by polling station creates a bell-shaped curve, with the center roughly corresponding with the average percent turnout. In Figure 1, Canada, Mexico, Sweden and Poland follow the bell curve.  Bulgaria and Ukraine show a blip close to the 100% mark, indicative of fraud by ballot stuffing.
Figure 2

Now look at past Russian elections in Figure 2. The left hand side of the curves look normal but the right hand side does strange things.  Like not falling away. Like showing blips at turnout percentages ending in 5 or 10. Like a number of polls with turnouts in and around the 100% mark. Funny how that works, isn't it? As Joseph Stalin said, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."

Figure 3
This year's election followed the trend in Figure 2 only more so. Starts out normally and then goes wildly off.  When the votes are broken down by party, it seems in polling stations with high turnouts, United Russia got all the extra votes. Like 11 million out of 25 million extra votes, if one assumes the same patterns by party as in the normal part of the chart. The same pattern of spikes shows up at turnouts ending in 5 or 10.  How lazy can you get?

In one polling district, turnouts at 100 of the polling stations were 62.2%.  This was 'just coincidental' as actual turnouts ranged from 62.16 to 62.24.  Right.

For a video of examples of ballot stuffing, go here:
http://flashvideo.rferl.org/Videoroot/Pangeavideo/2016/09/5/58/58158d1b-4be5-439b-9449-cb8f4b76f9a0.mp4

For a giant sized picture of Figure 3, go here:
http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/podmoskovnik/11997705/76210/76210_original.png

Paul Gregory, writing for Forbes, explains how the Kremlin controlled the election, keeping turnout as low as possible so that ballot stuffing would be less noticeable:


The rest of my sources are here:


8 comments:

  1. And yet again, I give thanks that I live in Canada. I'm not labouring under the delusion that none of our political process is corrupt; but it's nice that they at least conceal it enough that we can pretend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Democracy seems intent on destroying itself. But as they say, the work gets done by those who show up. Those who simply make an X every few years and expect nirvana are partially responsible.

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  2. if I've said it once I've said it a 100 times..WE'RE FUCKED.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our democracy is smoke and mirrors: one person one vote -no- Presidents are elected by 'The Electoral College.'
    the Ol'Buzzard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd be happy to give you a list. The Electoral College is a long way down from the top

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  4. I think there must be an institution where politicians must be taught prepared ,qualified and examined then approved to start work as politician.
    Then the most reliable group of people or public itself elect among them the best who can be trusted as government servant not as a blood sucker

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think there must be an institution where politicians must be taught prepared ,qualified and examined then approved to start work as politician.
    Then the most reliable group of people or public itself elect among them the best who can be trusted as government servant not as a blood sucker

    ReplyDelete