Ukraine Votes as Prez Warns of 'Step Into Abyss'

Referendum on self-rule goes forward

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted May 11, 2014 7:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – The question on the referendum is simple: "Do you support the act of state self-rule of the Donetsk People's Republic/Luhansk People's Republic?" The act of answering, in today's poll in Ukraine's aforementioned two eastern provinces, is contentious, chaotic, and already being denounced as rigged and what acting President Oleksandr Turchnyov is calling "a step toward the abyss." BBC reporters on the ground in Donetsk and Luhansk describe long lines, haphazard processes, and less-than-reliable voter lists. The AP reports that while proceedings have been largely peaceful, irregularities persist such as one village in which polling was delayed by three hours after officials forgot to bring a ballot box. Complicating matters, international observers are absent. The poll goes forward despite Vladimir Putin's call to the contrary.

A polling station voluntary worker checks the passport of a voter at a polling station in the district of Budennovskiy, outskirts of Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 11, 2014.
A polling station voluntary worker checks the passport of a voter at a polling station in the district of Budennovskiy, outskirts of Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
A Ukrainian woman casts her vote at a polling station in the Budennovskiy district, outskirts of Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 11, 2014.
A Ukrainian woman casts her vote at a polling station in the Budennovskiy district, outskirts of Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
An armed pro-Russian man sits below a flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, on a road leading into Slovyansk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 11, 2014.
An armed pro-Russian man sits below a flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, on a road leading into Slovyansk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
A local commission member issues ballots at a polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, on Sunday May 11, 2014.
A local commission member issues ballots at a polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, on Sunday May 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A local resident leaves a booth to cast her ballot at a polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, on Sunday, May 11, 2014.
A local resident leaves a booth to cast her ballot at a polling station in Luhansk, Ukraine, on Sunday, May 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
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My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
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47%
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