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Grigory Yavlinsky on the situation with voters signatures in favour of his registration in the presidential election campaign

Grigory Yavlinsky's Live Journal

January 29, 2012

Friends, as I have promised I am explaining what happened to the signatures [in favour of my registration in the presidential election campaign].


What, according to the Central Electoral Commission, was the main fault [with voters signatures] which did not allow them to register me in the election campaign?


Here comes the decision of the Central Electoral Commission refusing me the registration: http://cikrf.ru/law/decree_of_cec/2012/01/27/Zp12733.html


This decision was adopted on the basis of a document handed to me by the Central Electoral Commission and entitled "Final Protocol of Verification of Signature Sheets in Favour of Nomination of Grigory Alexeyevich Yavlinsky Candidate on the Post of President of the Russian Federation signed at 18:00 on January 24. The document was signed by N.E.Konkin, head of the Working Group and Secretary of the Central Electoral Commission; S.A. Danilenko, head of the sub-group and member of the Central Electoral Commission. (There is no such a document at the Central Electoral Commission web-site, but there is an unsigned protocol of January 23).


The document runs as follows:

Number of submitted signatures: 2, 086, 050
Number of verified signatures: 600, 000
Number of defective (void) signatures, (share of defective (void) signatures in the total number of voters signatures chosen for verification) : 153, 938 (25.66%)
Number of valid signatures: 1, 932, 112
.
Grounds (reasons) for acknowledging signatures defective (void):
.
Code 29 Other violations of procedural formalities in filing signature sheets, including signatures of voters whose data were included into signature sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs certified by authorized representatives) *: 137, 492
... ". End of quotation.

*The official instruction by the Central Electoral Commission - Appendix 8 to the Resolution of the Central Electoral Commission of the RF On the Order of Accepting and Verification of Signature Sheets with Voters Signatures in Support of a Candidate for the post of President of the Russian Federation 58/504-6 of 17.10.2011 - this position (Code 29) is formulated is follows: " Other violations of procedural formalities in filing signature sheets." The instruction gives nothing more. The text of the protocol of verification of signatures specifies on the item the instruction does not have: including signatures of the voters whose data were included into signature sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs certified by authorized representatives). Thus, this specification was added arbitrarily and for the first time, i.e. specially for this protocol.


Let us make a simple calculation: the share of detected defective (void) signatures that were not included into this category (Code 29) amounted to 16,446 (2.74% of the number of verified signatures totaling 600,000). The rest was 137,492 (22.91%): "Other violations of procedural formalities in filing signature sheets, including signatures of voters whose data were included into signature sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs certified by authorized representatives). This means that the main fault found in the signatures by the Central Electoral Commission lying behind their refusal in my registration referred NOT TO THE SIGNATURES, BUT TO OTHER VIOLATIONS OF PROCEDURAL FORMALITIES IN FILING OF SIGNATURE SHEETS, including signatures of those voters whose data were included into signature sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs certified by authorized representatives).


Let me explain what is meant here. Collection of signatures was conducted on the territories of 71 region of the Russian Federation. Regional YABLOKO branches and party supporters participated in the campaign, head quarters were created and different public organisations and structures also helped us.


The campaign for collection of signatures started [as required by the Russian law] after registration of an electoral campaign account in the Central Electoral Commission, i.e. after December 24. The New Year and Christmas holidays considerably worsened the conditions for collection of signatures, therefore the needed rates of signing up were met only after January 10. In addition, the notaries that [in accordance with the Russian law] had to certify the signatures of all the collectors of signatures resumed their work only after January 10. The signatures could not be submitted to the Central Electoral Commission without being certified by the notaries and were not accepted by the main head-quarters. The deadline for submitting signatures to the Central Electoral Commission was January 18 (and January 15 for the head-quarters, respectively).


Thus, the federal headquarters had the task within five (!) days to provide for transportation of signature sheets from the regions to Moscow, receive and check-up all the sheets, as well as provide for their filing, binding in the printing office, certification of every sheet by authorized persons and ensure other technical procedures. The turnover of documents totaled to about 300,000 signature sheets with over 2.5 million signatures (excluding notary papers).


Also the fact that collection of signatures naturally went unevenly as of different regions but they had to be dispatched to the headquarters regularly and often they could not be transported to Moscow with just anyone (and when the regional collectors tried to take the signatures to Moscow personally, the campaign in the regions was virtually suspended for two or three days, which in the given framework was unacceptable) made the situation even more difficult.


Proceeding from such a situation and taking into consideration that the Law did not directly of indirectly prohibit submitting of electronic copies of signatures sheets we adopted a decision to permit to the main head quarters, when necessary, to accept electronic copies of signature sheets from the regions (i.e. scanned copies) via e-mail and their further print out in the head quarters with further check up of the signatures and preparation of these copies for filing. The copies had to be replaced by the originals as soon as the originals arrived to Moscow from the regions. If such a replacement was impossible (when signatures came to the head quarters too late, for example, the signatures collected in two days prior to submitting them to the Central Electoral Commission were too late to arrive to Moscow), we decided to submit them to the Central Electoral Commission as electronic copies, i.e. prints-out.


In addition the head quarters in the regions often copied the sheet forms with the help of copiers when they could not get the forms made by print shop in time.


In short, the signature sheets the Central Electoral Commission was referring to as photocopies were signature sheets with real voters signatures obtained in view of tough deadlines and a huge territory of the country via e-mail and then printed out. The law does not envisage that but it also does no prohibit that.

 

Other defects:

On the identical sheets detected in one file and two (!) signatures by one and the same voter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOLEj5Y5YB4).


ONE (!) sheet with eight signatures and its copy were found among 300,000 signatures. Obviously this was due to a replacement of a printed out and scanned copy by the original in one of the head quarters as I have written above.


The same reel also demonstrated different signatures by one and the same person. But people may sign differently. If a person signs up at a picket where there is no table, it may be a scribble, but when signing up is made in the office it will be a normal signature. A voter may also sign up twice meaning good without meaning any harm. It is impossible to check up hundreds of thousands of signature sheets for repeated signatures. During parliamentary election campaign of 2011 we found five repeated signatures. In this campaign, according to the Central Electoral Commission, there was only ONE (!) such case.

 

About the five deceased whose signatures were detected in the signature sheets (http://kp.ru/online/news/1068053/).


According to statistics, regretfully about 2,000 people out of the total 2 million who signed up for YABLOKO have already died for the period of collection of signatures. Thus, if a region submitted 50,000 signatures, then, according to statistical data, over 60 people out of those who signed up might be dead already. (Also at Moscow municipal elections when one of the candidates from the Solidarnost movement had to collect about 50 signatures, one of those who signed up also died during this period. And the Commission acknowledged these signatures void because of this, despite of the fact that this person died AFTER he had signed).


* * *
Considering the present situation and our limited resources we organised a citizenly collection of signatures all over Russia and even abroad. ALL those who wished could get signature sheets and after reading the instructions we published in the Internet begin collection of signatures.


ANY person could collect signatures in support of my registration. Judging by letters and postings in the Internet, thousands of people gathered in groups and called people to sign up for me. Several dozens of organisations announced their support to me and also participated in collection of signatures. In the last days before the deadline the Head Quarters received hundreds of thousands of signatures dispatched by planes, trains, coaches, post and e-mail. Over 200 people worked in the Head Quarters 24 hours a day.


It was a CITIZENLY collection of signatures, and it was our advantage. However, this also made us prone to different provocations. Thus we were told in the Central Electoral Commission during verification of signatures that their people informers had been secretly working in the head quarters of all the candidates collecting signatures. And it was no surprise. I wonder only what these people did in our head quarters were they only spying or also acted?


We have done all we could in such a situation so that you could have an alternative. The authorities prohibited to register me at the presidential elections so that there would be no alternative. The Central Electoral Commission has fulfilled this order*.


Thank you all.

Life is going on.

**We will certainly appeal against the decision made by the Central Electoral Commission. However, the authorities have also adopted a decision on this, Moscow. January 24. INTERFAX. Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of Russian Prime Minister, said that it was wrong and absurd to question the decision by the Central Electoral Commission not to register Grigory Yavlinsky. "The Central Electoral Commission is the only fully authorized body that can either register or not register presidential candidates. If the CEC decides that the faulty percentage in the gathered signatures exceeds the statutory limit, it would be absurd to question this decision.

See also:

Presidential Elecitons 2012

State Duma Elections 2011

 

 

Grigory Yavlinsky's Live Journal

January 29, 2012

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