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Russian election webcam appears to catch ballot stuffing [Video]

March 5, 2012 |  1:21 pm

Is this what election fraud looks like? In this webcam video of Sunday's presidential election in Russia, several men are seen feeding dozens of ballots into an electronic box in the southern republic of Dagestan. 

Central Election Commission chief Vladimir Churov said election officials were merely depositing ballots that were filled out by sick or elderly people voting at home, the Associated Press reported. Nonetheless, Russian officials ultimately annulled the results at the Dagestan station.

Complaints of election fraud have swirled around the presidential race. In an attempt to allay fears of corruption, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who ran in the presidential contest and ultimately was declared the winner, ordered more than 90,000 webcams to be installed at polling places, at a reported cost that topped $300 million.

But voting monitors were unconvinced that the cameras had cleaned up the elections.

Election monitors reported "massive serious violations" during the vote, including "carousels" of voters bused from poll to poll to vote more than once.

The Russian webcams also caught some hijinks -- the good kind -- before voting had even started. This YouTube video shows a little bit of electoral boogeying at a polling station in western Siberia:


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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles

Video: A webcam at a Russian polling station shows men feeding multiple ballots into a machine. Credit: Associated Press