Interfax/VTsIOM: Russians differ on work of independent monitors at elections

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. Sept 15 (Interfax) – A relative majority of Russians (43%) believe that the presence of independent monitors at polling stations makes elections more fair, the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) said.

Over one-third of the respondents (34%) believe monitors’ participation does not influence the fairness of elections in any way and eight percent believe their presence only worsens the situation. Fifteen percent of the respondents were undecided.

Among the reasons why people go to work as independent monitors, 30% of the respondents mentioned a wish to earn money and 19% mentioned a wish to get justice and ensure fair elections.

Six percent of the respondents believe that people go to work as independent monitors to manifest their active civil position. Three percent of the respondents said people are made to work at polling stations and another three percent said they pursue their own interests. Two percent of the respondents see mistrust of elections commissions as a reason to become an independent monitor and one percent said people may choose to do it because they have nothing to do. Forty-one percent of the respondents were undecided.

Only 18% of the respondents said they are ready to become independent election monitors. Eight percent of the respondents said they would agree to become independent monitors of their work was supported by the state and society. A majority of the respondents (70%) gave a negative answer and four percent were undecided.

Six percent of the respondents said they had worked as independent monitors in elections in the past five years. It is a four percent point increase from a similar poll conducted in 2012 (two percent).

The poll was conducted on August 20-21. It surveys 1,600 people living in 130 populated areas in 46 regions of the country and nine federal districts.

[featured image is file photo]