Voters Bullied to Boost Medvedev

Russian workers told to vote, and who to vote for, says Guardian
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2008 7:31 AM CST
Shopkeeper Vladimir Tyshko prepares a portrait of First Deputy Prime Minister and presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev for sale in Moscow, Friday, Feb. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The Russian government is plotting widespread fraud in tomorrow's presidential election, Russian sources claim in a Guardian report. Ballot boxes will be stuffed and public sector workers have been pressured to vote to ensure a landslide victory for Vladimir Putin's handpicked successor, Dmitry Medvedev. Analysts say Medvedev would win anyway, but the Kremlin is seeking a 68-70% turnout, with about 72% voting for Medvedev.

Students in Nizhny Novogorod have reportedly been told they'll be evicted from their dormitories if they don't turn out to boost Medvedev's numbers, and state workers are being told to report to work and vote there. "They want people to vote at work because it will be easier for them to control the process there," said a schoolteacher, who added that she'd be fired if people discovered she'd talked to the press.