“Prayed after the polls closed”: how we count votes in elections

It seemed to me that on election day will never end. Especially the last part, behind which lies the main intrigue.

How counting the votes after the polls closed, Cohiba why not give immediately the result and what you do with the extra digits when counting out our special correspondent that as an observer allowed to exciting procedure of the election day.

Author photo – Eduard Chernov.

The number of voters in the area significantly decreased after 18.00. By this time it dulled the already weak vigilance observers, openly yawned as those who met the voters and gave out the ballots, nervously glancing at his watch, like hurry time, the Chairman of the PEC.

If the people the day was set up festive, after dark, the area looked people with gloomy faces.

I don’t understand on TV promised that the test will be held in the presence of disease. Why do you have it? – did not hide their irritation woman.

Promised fresh pies, eggs cheap. And get fooled again? – grumbled the man in a lush fur hat.

My child even the icon has not got that so quickly ended the gifts? – asked the young mother.

The PEC members had not even smiled. Did not respond to comments. Silently searched for the desired string in the list of voters and handed the voters a ballot paper.

Arrow on the clock treacherously frozen. Time dragged on endlessly.

19.56. Near the urn of the last voter. The girl managed to stop for a few minutes before the polls closed.

20.00 police Officer announced: “the Vote is completed”. The plot closes on the castle.

Cohiba automatically transferred to the mode “Stop”. Gave General numbers – how many people voted in our precinct. Later, this figure will add another 47 “homeworkers” – those who had fulfilled a civic duty, not leaving the apartment.

– Go to the net repayment of unclaimed ballots, announces the Chairman of the PEC.

At the table are about four people – all members of the election Commission. Unused ballots are counted and eliminated every piece of paper cut off corners.

All you want to complete the work. A woman in a hurry, while the cut off area, did not notice that I cut my finger, “it’s okay. Most importantly, get this done quickly”.

Newsletters are discharged, stacked in the paper bag, wrapped with duct tape.

– We have one left spoiled ballot, what to do with it? – remembered by someone. – Remember, the girl accidentally put a tick not your candidate. Then asked for new ballots issued. We are not animals, gave.

Then began to consider homeworkers. The ballots went out – 47 people. “Brownie” books – 33. Disappeared 14.

I by that time was ready to gave up on these unfortunate voices, which in fact solves nothing.

However, all our talks were held under the camera. Risk place the PEC members did not want to.

– Will have to look what happened to 14 people, sighed the Chairman of the Commission. – Open a book with addresses and recalculate the people. Looking at who forgot to make the list.

Two just need to strike, they refused at home to vote, – explained one of the ladies. – One voter was taken to the hospital. Another unconscious lies at home. Said. the man lapsed into a coma, not before the election to him.

It remains to find 12 people.

20.50. While some sought out in the books with the voter lists of the missing, others openly yawned, played to the phone, stared blankly at the wall, count the minutes.

– I’m not thinking, where did these 12 people. Why we can’t find? – swearing woman who was forced for the tenth time to review the pages of the book.

– Don’t panic. We are not in a hurry. Continue to look for. Maybe someone forgot to write or the writing of books, – the Chairman showed equanimity.

PEC members continued moves his finger along the lists of voters. Was writing something in a notebook.

21.15. In the end, all the homeworkers were found. But then again error. The final results of the hand scoring did not converge with the data of the Cohiba.

Women again began frantically something to count.

– It looks like I messed up. Issued 258 vote instead of 270. One sheet missed it, – admitted one of the PEC members. – I’m just tired at the end. Yes, I have these observers with their loud voices distracted. Excuse me.

21.40. Think on.

All further calculations I was not clear. So the presence of observers at the final stage of the election – is not always justified. Hardly anyone of us in this state is able to respond to the violation.

– Still one vote extra. Where did he come from? – discussed around.

– 1820 ballots we received under the report and we go out 1821. Let’s write it as one ballot unaccounted for, not going one up in the morning to sit, – said the President.

Objections, of course, was not followed.

21.50. Opened the ballot box for home voting. Newsletters “homeworkers” sent to COHIBA.

– Now let’s pray that the Cohiba is not out of order, and we are not stuck here all night. Because then you have to count it manually in all seriousness, suggested one observer.

Cohiba has heard our prayers and gave the final Protocol of the vote.

On our site, Putin received 865 votes, in second place – Grudinin (155), followed by Sobchak (70). Zhirinovsky – 48. Yavlinsky, 43, Titov – 16, Suraykin – 6.

Later I talked with other observers. One and all agreed: “Work on elections squeezes out all juices. Easier the car to unload than to observe the vote.”

See photo essay on the topic:

The Russians showed pictures of spoiled ballots: for Cord, Norris

13 photos

The Russian presidential election in 2018. Chronicle of events

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