Web cams in Russian polling stations

Jan. 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM
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VELIKY NOVGOROD, Russia, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A program to install Web cams in polling places as a way to prevent voting fraud kicked off in the Russian city of Veliky Novgorod, officials say.

The 15 billion-ruble ($478 million) initiative commenced during the weekend, and will see to installing live Web cams in every one of 93,000 polling stations countrywide.

The initiative, ordered by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, follows a massive public demonstration over allegations of ballot stuffing in December's State Duma elections.

On Feb. 1, a Web site will be launched that will enable anyone, even presidential candidates, to view a live stream of any polling place of their choice, officials said................

Veliky Mayor Yury Bobryshev told The Moscow Times: "It will have a certain psychological effect on people who come to the polling station. They will feel they are not being cheated."

Election officials also said personnel tasked with the counting of votes would also be under camera watch.

A poll conducted by the FOM polling agency last week, 63 percent of Russians in 43 regions are in favor of the new measure.

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