Fake Elections in Ukraine: Five Main Fraud Techniques

Let us talk about the methods of mass influence on the course of the Ukrainian elections, applied from 1994 to 2019. In fact, only parliamentary elections of 1990 and presidential elections of 1991 might be considered fair ones.

1: Carousel Voting

One of the oldest methods of voting fraud is called “carousel voting.” This term denotes two different technologies. The older format was once described by Ihor Popov, the then-chairman of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine.

“Violators stand under the polling station and offer voters to sell a ballot. The voter must throw the already filled ballot into the ballot box. So the bribed voter has to put a ballot, stolen by another voter, into the ballot box. Accordingly, he receives a clean ballot and throws the signed ballot in the box; the clean one goes to the people standing outside,” Popov describes the process.

There is another “carousel voting” scheme when falsification participants receive absentee ballots from the members of the election commissions.

A group of falsifiers gets on a bus that travels from one polling station to another, where each participant votes, using the absentee ballot. This method was very popular at the 2004 presidential election.

2. Proficit scheme

Proficit is a cheap scheme, which could not be implemented today due to the high degree of security of the ballots. It’s about fake printed ballots, when the head of the polling station that cooperates with the falsifiers, receives more ballots than voters in the lists.

The extra bulletins are used in the interests of a particular candidate, and then falsified ballots are counted with to the rest of the ballots. The technology was launched at the presidential elections of 1999, and 2004. The falsifiers did not naively take into account that with their “additional” ballots voter turnout could exceed 100%.

3. Ghost voters

Introduction of the state register of voters should improve the situation, but currently, the registry serves mainly to ensure that the data of an individual were entered correctly, and it is rather difficult to detect the “extra” persons on the list. Such a task can only be done to law enforcement agencies, on whose behalf Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has already said that registry checks will certainly continue.

They just have not so much time. And Mykola Katerynchuk, head of the election headquarters of wannabe prez Anatoliy Hrytsenko, draws attention to the fact that a million of voters have been added to the registry. Now there are 35.6 million voters, whereas in the 2014 elections there were 34.6 million.

Considering the demographic situation in the country, it is unlikely that in 5 years a million of those who are now 18 have grown up. In addition, residents of Crimea and Donbass were included in the state register is also worrying.

4. Buckwheat

“Buckwheat” is, in fact, the older sister of popular “electoral grid,” which is disguised bribery of voters. The early version of “buckwheat” was more chaotic – these were food packages, which often included buckwheat, were offered to virtually everyone, without any mutual obligations.

“Buckwheat” scheme has won the administrative resource for the first time in the elections for the Kyiv mayor in 2006. It seemed that the then mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko, who controlled the election commissions, had all the necessary levers of influence in his hands.

But the powerful Omelchenko, unexpectedly for himself, lost the election to Leonid Chernovetsky, a little-known man at that time, who did what his rival did not think of – “went to the people.”

The return of the majority districts in 2012 made the use of “buckwheat” even more motivated – from now on, every candidate tried to bestow his electorate with unchanged food sets or other benefits.

5. Electoral grid

This is a rigid hierarchy of people who are responsible for the mobilization of voters. Thousands of thousands of people lead by a “grid,” controlled by special centurions and foremen. The latter has direct contact with people in the “door-to-door” mode.

Who are the foremen? They seek for the pensioners or those who seek social assistance, or those who attend meetings with candidates. There are many ways of forming the “grid.” In the end, a telephone directory is a prototype of a grid, but still unprocessed one. You can create a “grid” from scratch or buy a ready one – the one that remained from the last election.

Forming the “grid,” foremen offer people money. In case of consent, part of the money is issued before the voting day, and part is given after. Of course, it is impossible to control everyone, and therefore 20-30% of losses are put into the “grid.” After all, someone, having taken the money, can deceive his foreman by voting for the wrong candidate.

In addition, the “grid” can be built so thinly that it will generally look like something else. For example, opponents of the current president consider electoral manipulation the current one-time surcharge in the amount of 90 USD to 1.9 million pensioners. The surcharge is divided into two tranches, the first of which will be issued in March, and the second would be in April, that is, just between the first and second rounds of voting.

Source: 112UA, 18.3. 2019

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