Updated at 18:44,21-03-2018

How They "Counted" Votes at Elections in Mazyr


The candidate at the local elections, former political soldier Franak Vyachorka says there were violations at a polling station of constituency #25 in Mazyr. The challenger of the young politician in the constituency was the pro-governmental candidate Syargey Karobkin.

In his blog Franak Vyachorka described the discovered violations of the electoral legislation.

"Dormitory residents, workers of the woodworking plant, servicemen of military unit #48694 were forced to vote early," writes the ex-candidate. "To increase the turnout, fictitious names and names of those who died were included in the lists of voters. The total number of voters in the constituency as for 25 April 2010 was 2,793 people, while during the early voting on 23 April – 3,099 people. The night between 24 and 25 April the ballot box for early voting was opened. Its side wall can be opened while the box itself remains sealed. The ballot papers were replaced in favour of S. Karobkin. Only a few of 772 votes cast on early voting days were for Vyachorka, and 99% were for Karobkin".

As Franak Vyachorka says, before closing of the station on 25 April the vice-chairman and the secretary of the election commission threw several dozens of ballots into the ballot box. This was recorded by an observer, although he was unable to see how many ballots were thrown. For the sake of experiment, the observer left the room for a few seconds. The commission members rushed to the ballot box to stuff it.

Before counting of votes on 25 April, each member of the commission (two of eleven refused) got about 30-40 extra ballots in support of the pro-governmental candidate. They kept papers on their knees, under the clothes. When the contents of the box were emptied out on the table, the members of the commission furtively put the ballots to the total mass. According to the estimates of the observers, 443 people came to vote on the main polling day. 1,108 papers were found in the ballot box, 665 papers (all for Karobkin) were thrown by the commission. During the counting one could see that the ballots for the pro-governmental candidate were thrown in piles, writes Vyachorka.

The ex-candidate also describes the vote counting procedure. Observers were not allowed to come to the table where the counting of votes was conducted. In order for the observers not to hear talks between members of the commission, music was turned on at full blast. Ballot papers were sorted out in silence, laid into piles, but not counted. The counting was performed by the chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary of the commission at a separate table. Ballot papers were wrapped in paper and sealed, numbers on each package were written in pencil, and packages were carried into another room. Even with the recount of votes it will be impossible to prove which papers are original and which were thrown into by members of the commission.

Then the chairman and secretary of the commission "scored up" the figures so that everything tallied. They reduced the number of voters to 2,836 people (it was 3,099), and the number of early voters – to 772 (it was 790). The results of the counting of votes were not declared. They could be found in the protocol, which was hung out in the lobby. The electoral commission hastily left the station.

The official election results are the following: Franak Vyachorka got 14% of the vote, Syargey Karobkin – more than 80%.

Vote count at the local elections 25.04.2010. Polling station #44 in Mazyr where F. Vyachorka was a candidate. Video by Anastasiya Syamenchyk