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Russian Observer Shocked by U.S. Election Procedures

MosNews | November 3 2004

A Russian parliamentarian taking part in international monitoring of the U.S. presidential elections has said that the elections were held in violation of U.S. law and that that he was shocked after seeing how the elections were held.

The Interfax news agency cited State Duma deputy Aleksei Ostrovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party as saying that he was shocked by the way the elections were held in the U.S.

“In my opinion there are possibilities to forge the elections results and these possibilities are caused by serious, as we see it, violations of the electoral law,” the MP said in a telephone interview.

The parliamentarian noted that primarily he was shocked by the fact that U.S. citizens do not produce any ID as they come to polling stations. “It is enough to say ’I am Mr. Smith,’ and he is allowed to vote; the same person can exit one polling station and go to another and vote again using the same procedure,” the Russian MP said.

Ostrovsky also noted that all Americans who he talked to had said they did not like voting by computer. “Often people simply do not understand how to vote and nobody really tries to explain it to them,” the observer said.

Apart from Aleksei Ostrovsky two more Russian parliamentarians are observing the U.S. presidential elections under the aegis of the OSCE. They are the deputy chief of State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Aleksandr Kozlovsky of the United Russia faction and a member of the Committee for Affairs of Federation and Regional Policy, Leonid Ivanchenko of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

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