Valyantsina Svyatskaya: “Early voting is new songs to old tunes”
Early voting continues in Belarus. Columns of students march to poling stations.
There’s a queue of cadets of Academy of Interior Affairs at pollig station #74 in Minsk, while students of Belarusian State Pedagogical University are asked to vote at a voting station in Shchors Street, not at the university in order it won’t be seen when exactly they vote.
“There are no incidents at polling stations. The local council election was like a dress rehearsal. What we see now is a staged play,” observer Valyantsina Svyatsakaya says. “The heads of election officers at poling stations were taught how to work with the voters. For example, Alyaksandr Kudzermaeu, the deputy head of the election commission of the Maskouski district, says that if a person comes to a polling station where he or she is not registered, he or she must be given an opportunity to vote, but later election officers should phone to the right poling station and tell this person has already voted. It’s clear that this was prepared and rehearsed by the authorities. New songs are sung to old tunes.
Due to this mess, election commissions say the exact number of voters floats. Of course they float, if a person, in violation of the Electoral Code, can vote at any polling station, the voter turnout cannot be defined.
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