If you're rigging an election, you might not want to create a 107 percent turnout in Chechnya with Vladimir Putin receiving 99 percent of the vote, but at this point, Russian election officials don't seem to care. Clearly,modesty or believability isn't a strong motivation among Russian election officials. But this is certainly a bit more refined than gluing polling station official's apartment door shut.
"The final tally: Putin, 1,482 votes; Gennady A. Zyuganov, the Communist Party leader, one vote" reported The New York Times' Andrew Kramer, who adds that there were only 1,389 people registered to vote in the precinct. When asked about the 107 percent turnout, officials blamed it on absentee ballots and "those temporarily living in the district," not the suspicious busloads of voters who appeared the day of the vote. You have to wonder why anyone would even bother rigging the vote: the number of votes in Chechnya weren't even enough to matter in Putin's landslide victory on March 4.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.