Reuters photographed 17 Russians voting multiple times in the presidential election — check out the crazy photos

Ludmila Sklyarevskaya, who denied voting multiple times, casting a ballot at polling station number 215 (L) and casting a ballot at polling station number 216, in Ust-Djeguta.

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Ludmila Sklyarevskaya, who denied voting multiple times, casting a ballot at polling station number 215 (L) and casting a ballot at polling station number 216, in Ust-Djeguta.
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Reuters

Ludmila Sklyarevskaya, a Russian hospital administrator, voted on Sunday in an election that gave Vladimir Putin another term as Russia’s president.

Then she went to another polling station and voted again, according to Reuters reporters who witnessed her movements.

Sklyarevskaya, who denied any wrongdoing, was among 17 people who were photographed by Reuters apparently casting ballots at more than one polling station Sunday in the town of Ust-Djeguta, southern Russia.

Many appeared to be state employees, and some showed up in groups and in mini buses bearing the names of state-provided services.

It was just one of many different kinds of alleged voter fraud incidents in Sunday’s Russian presidential election.

The New York Times obtained live transmissions of Russian voters submitting multiple ballots at the same polling place. RFERL reported how some Russian voters blocked cameras as ballots were submitted, and that election officials blocked cameras with ballons as they tallied up the votes.

Reuters was able to speak to seven of 17 people photographed casting multiple votes. They either denied voting more than once or declined to comment.

Here are seven of the photos from three polling places in the town of Ust-Djeguta:


On election day in Ust-Djeguta, Sklyarevskaya arrived just after 5:30 p.m. local time, leading a group of eight other women and one man through the gates of polling station number 216.

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Ludmila Sklyarevskaya, who denied voting multiple times, casting a ballot at polling station number 215 (L) and casting a ballot at polling station number 216, in Ust-Djeguta.
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Reuters

About twenty minutes later, Reuters reporters observed the same group voting again a few hundred meters away at polling station no. 215.

Several of the women with her were wearing surgical scrubs, and the man wore a jacket with the word “ambulance” written on it. Ust-Djeguta, a town of 30,000 people and 1,500 km (930 miles) south of Moscow, has only one hospital, the state-run Central District Hospital.

In an interview next to her office on the hospital’s fourth floor, Sklyarevskaya said she had voted only once, at a third polling station, number 217. “Who directed you to do this investigation?” she asked when approached by Reuters reporters. “You do not have the right to get involved in the electoral system.”

An employee at the hospital where Sklyarevskaya worked confirmed the woman captured in photos at the two polling stations was Sklyarevskaya and identified her as the hospital’s deputy director of health and safety.

Voting twice is a misdemeanor under Russian law, carrying a penalty of a fine. Shown pictures of some of the people who apparently voted twice, including at Ust-Djeguta’s polling station no. 217, Leila Koichuyeva, a member of the election commission there, said: “They could be twins.”

Sklyarevskaya, when it was pointed out she had been seen voting at polling stations 216 and 215, said “that’s not me.”


Larissa Tekeyeva, head of the election commission for polling station 216, said after looking at a picture of a woman in a pink coat who voted at polling stations 216 and 217: “We all have the same mentality. We all look alike.”

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A voter casting a ballot at a polling station number 216 (L) and walking with a ballot at a polling station number 217, in Ust-Djeguta, Russia.
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Reuters

Zukhra Chomaeva, the head election official at polling station number 217, said she could not answer for what happened outside her precinct when asked about multiple voting. “How do I know if they’re the same person? They might look the same.”

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A voter casting a ballot at a polling station number 216 (L) and approaching a box before casting a ballot at a polling station number 217, in Ust-Djeguta, Russia.
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Reuters

This woman was even photographed voting three times.

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A voter casting a ballot at polling station number 216 (L), walking before casting a ballot at a polling station 217 (C) and casting a ballot at a polling station number 215, in Ust-Djeguta, Russia.
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Reuters

Official results released on Monday showed the three polling stations had an average turnout of 81.5% and delivered a majority for Putin of 89.86%. National turnout was 67%, according to the central election commission.

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A voter visiting a polling station number 217 (L) and walking before entering a polling station number 216, in Ust-Djeguta, Russia.
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Reuters

Reuters reporters used mechanical counters to count everybody who cast a ballot at the 12 polling stations they monitored from open to close on Sunday.

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A voter casting a ballot at polling station number 216 (L), walking before casting a ballot at a polling station 217 (C) and casting a ballot at a polling station number 215, in Ust-Djeguta, Russia.
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Reuters

In some places, the discrepancies between the official count and the Reuters tally were small, with local election officials putting it down to the margin of error. But in nine of the 12 polling stations, the discrepancies were 10% or greater.


The biggest divergence, as a share of the total vote, was in polling station number 265, inside a technical college in Simferopol, Crimea. Moscow annexed the region from Ukraine four years ago.

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A voter holding a ballot before casting it at a polling station number 216 (L) and casting a ballot at a polling station number 215, in Ust-Djeguta, Russia.
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Reuters

Reuters reporters saw 797 voters at that station, while the official figures state that 1,325 people voted on the day and in person.

Asked about the discrepancy, the chairwoman of the polling station’s election commission, Oksana Mediyeva, said independent monitors had watched the vote and had raised no issues.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there were established procedures for reporting election violations. “If these reports from the respected Reuters agency are backed up by corresponding statements to law enforcement agencies from the observers who were at each polling station, then it’s a worry. If they are not backed up, then it does not worry us at all.”