With an attendant in order - Newspaper Kommersant No. 178 (7379) dated 09/27/2022

With an attendant in order - Newspaper Kommersant No. 178 (7379) dated 09/27/2022

In the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), as well as in the Russian-controlled military territories of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine, five-day referenda on joining the Russian Federation continued on Monday. On the fourth day of voting, the turnout in all four regions exceeded 50%, which allowed their electoral commissions to declare the plebiscites valid. For the issue to be considered approved, more than half of the voters in each region must vote in favor. According to the only poll of voters so far, more than 90% of the referendum participants supported joining Russia in the Zaporozhye region.

The electoral commissions of the DPR, LPR and Zaporizhia region reported reaching a 50% turnout on September 25, and on the morning of September 26, the head of the Kherson electoral commission, Marina Zakharova, announced that this milestone had been overcome. “According to the data of the foreign election commission, yesterday (September 25.— "b") 8603 voters residing on the territory of the Russian Federation voted at the polling stations. In total, we have more than 25 thousand voters outside the Kherson region. And we can safely say that the referendum took place, because the turnout was more than 50%, taking into account foreign polling stations,” Ms. Zakharova told reporters. The day before, she explained that the referendum would be considered valid if the turnout was more than 50%, and before that, the election commission reported that 750 thousand people were included in the voter lists in the Kherson region.

By the evening of the fourth day, according to official data, the turnout in the Kherson region reached 63.58%, in Zaporizhia - 66.43% (including voting abroad), in the LPR the election commission reported 83.61% of those who voted, and in the DPR - about 86.89%. According to Vladimir Vysotsky, head of the DPR electoral committee, almost 1.5 million people voted there and over 410,000 more voted in foreign polling stations.

On the morning of September 26, the media published the results of an exit poll in the Zaporozhye region, which was conducted by the Crimean Republican Institute of Political and Sociological Research. According to him, 92.7% of the residents who voted on September 25 were in favor of joining the region to the Russian Federation, and 7.3% supported the Ukrainian status of the region. The institute's report, published on its website, says that the survey of 500 respondents was conducted by telephone.

Recall that the referendums began on September 23 and will last until September 27 inclusive. The main voting day at the polling stations is September 27, and in the previous days, for security reasons, the expression of will was mainly carried out by exit method. You can also vote in 84 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. To this end, as the head of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation Ella Pamfilova specified on Monday, more than 600 polling stations have been created in Russia.

It should be noted that the Kherson region, the only one of the four regions, has not made any normative act regulating the referendum process publicly available. In the DPR and LPR, special laws have been adopted for this, and in the Zaporozhye region, a procedure for preparing and holding a plebiscite. According to all these documents, for the issue to be considered approved, more than half of the voters on the list must support it.

The laws of the DPR and LPR also note that the procedure for compiling lists of referendum participants and making changes and clarifications to them is determined by the Central Election Commissions of the republics. In the document of the Zaporozhye region, a separate chapter is devoted to compiling lists of participants in the plebiscite. There, the basis for including a citizen in such a list is the fact of permanent residence or temporary stay in the territory of the polling station, and the lists of voters in the region and beyond must be compiled the day before the start of the plebiscite.

However, the organizers of the referendums themselves acknowledge that turnout figures are largely arbitrary. Already during the voting, a large number of participants are additionally added to the lists, Vladimir Vysotsky, head of the DPR CEC, explained on Sunday. “In particular, at the polling stations formed abroad, the lists are compiled from scratch, that is, every citizen of the republic who appears to vote is entered into them,” he told reporters (quoted by RIA Novosti). The final turnout figures will be calculated from the total number of participants included in the lists at the end of voting, Mr. Vysotsky specified. On Monday, he said that about 150 thousand people were already included in the additional lists in the DPR.

As Kommersant was told in the electoral committee of the Zaporozhye region, the work on the formation of the lists was carried out "huge": information was requested from the military-civilian administration, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the registry office and social protection, and employment centers. After the formation of the lists, members of the precinct commissions made a round of the population to clarify the data. As a result, according to the interlocutor of Kommersant, more than 501 thousand citizens were included in the lists, but this figure is not final, since those who returned to the region specifically to vote will be included in additional lists - as well as those who voted abroad .

Political scientist Alexander Asafov, who is in the Zaporozhye region as part of an international observer mission, told Kommersant that on Monday, mobile voting at home and at enterprises ended there, and observers were present at such rounds. “I see that, despite the workload, since today is Monday, people are willing to vote, many are willing to communicate with journalists, although there are certain nuances related to security,” the political scientist said. According to him, at the exit polling stations, he did not see any other emotions among the voters, except for spiritual upliftment - despite the informational pressure and ongoing shelling.

Elena Rozhkova, Anastasia Kornya

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