26 June 2020
Grigory Melkonyants on the first day of voting on the constitutional amendments
The Golos movement has reported widespread coercion of public employees on the first day of voting on the Constitution. Movement leader Grigory Melkonyants recounted the details live on radio station Ekho Moskv.
“We see weak legal regulation of procedures. Everything is very flexible. As expected, on 25 June employers started leading their workers to the polls, and then companies and institutions began publicly reporting how many of their employees had voted,” he noted.
Melkonyants also called attention to the fact that, due to low voter turnout on the streets, members of electoral commissions started going from flat to flat.
Additionally, according to the Golos leader, voting secrecy was, in practice, violated. “People have been marking their ballots on the hoods of cars and on folding tables. This is inconsistent with voting standards,” he explained.
Melkonyants added that regulation of canvassing was also lacking at polling sites. “In polling stations themselves we have recorded campaign materials calling on people to vote for the amendments. The situation with observation has also been very complicated,” he concluded.
Participation in voting on the amendments or lack of participation has no meaning if organization and procedures are not enforced by law. Ilya Yashin, head of [Moscow’s] Krasnoselsky Municipal District, expressed a similar opinion on Echo Moskv. He believes that the way the election was conducted discredits the very idea of a popular vote.
Translated by Mark Nuckols