An analysis of archival footage of polling stations in Russia recorded during last year’s parliamentary elections suggests that more than 17 million ballots were cast fraudulently, according to independent media outlet Meduza reported Friday.
At the time of the September elections, Russia’s Central Election Commission said it was running out of money to provide online video streaming from all polling stations.
But Meduza said he obtained more than a million hours of footage from more than 9,000 polling stations in 19 regions. The outlet said it then used artificial intelligence to analyze records from 3,505 polling stations.
The results, according to Meduza, showed that less than 2 million voters actually cast their ballots at those polling stations – while official data recorded 3.2 million votes.
Meduza claimed that this meant that about a third of the ballots were fake and that – if this pattern was replicated across Russia – the total number of stuffed ballots in the State Duma elections would reach 17, 1 million.
According to the official results, the elections were won by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party with just over 28 million votes cast for its candidates (49.8% of the vote).