Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that past US elections have been rigged by postal voting, as the election in Russia draws nearer, and he looks to secure a new six-year term.
Putin said without providing evidence that “In the United States, previous elections were falsified through postal voting…they bought ballots for $10, filled them out, and threw them into mailboxes without any supervision from observers, and that’s it,” Reuters reported.
According to the agency, Putin’s opponents say the March election in Russia is not a legitimate contest, claiming the President holds unchallenged power, particularly as his main rival Alexei Navalny is serving more than thirty years in prison on charges Navalny said were “trumped on.”
Putin’s Opponents in Russian Elections Call Manipulation on Votes
It has also been claimed that the use of electronic voting creates scope for authorities to manipulate the vote in President Putin’s favor without detection. Aside from accusing the US of allowing rigged votes, Russian intelligence officers were alleged to have interfered with US elections in 2016.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the indictment charged eleven defendants. The charges included a computer hacking conspiracy involving gaining unauthorized access to computers of US-based people and organizations involved in the 2016 presidential election. Defendants were also accused of stealing documents from those computers and staging releases of stolen documents to interfere with the election.
Amid a number of other alleged hack attempts by Russians through social media, January 2017 saw the Office of the Director of National Intelligence deliver a declassified report. This concluded: “President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for president-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”
An article by The Guardian on the upcoming Russian election in March mocks the false pretenses: “In December, Vladimir Putin finally ended any suspense by announcing his candidacy for a fifth term as Russia’s president. With a blend of resignation and cynicism, the world will watch as the country gears up for another presidential ‘election.'”
“In the lead-up to the election, Russia will undergo a cosmetic transformation,” wrote The Guardian. “Streets will be cleaned, buildings given a fresh coat of paint and pensioners handed their electoral encouragement: a free meal. On the day of the election, students and state employees will be herded to polling stations to perform their most important job: voting in an orchestrated display of fealty to Putin.”
“Putin will feign humility at his landslide victory, in what will probably be touted as a historic turnout,” the British daily continued. “And yet, rigged as it will be, the election is profoundly important, as Putin knows very well—consider why he exiled his biggest political opponent, Alexei Navalny, to a remote Arctic colony.”