Golos, the only independent election monitoring body in Russia, criticized the State Duma vote as riddled with serious violations that robbed the Putin machine of any sense of legitimacy. Golos stated:”The lack of political competition, the pressure on the voting process, the mass casting of absentee ballots and the unprecedented use of administrative resources… in favor of one party created serious doubts about whether the vote conformed to accepted international standards.” Representatives from Golos visited 20,000 polling stations in 38 regions by 2,500 volunteers. Its hotline received 4,000 calls reporting electoral irregularities. Opposition parties received support from the European Union which backed their claims concerning the pressure by the Putin government to ensure its victory regardless of whether or not it was achieved by honest methods.
A video is working its way through the Internet which depicts a woman feeding ballots into a ballot box. The behavior of President Putin is remarkably similar to that of President Nixon in 1972. Both men were assured of victory, but both simply couldn’t be satisfied with a normal triumph, they had to resort to dirty tricks. Nixon had his Watergate fiasco and Putin has nonstop reports of electoral misconduct.