Spoiled ballots raise a laugh

Official figures show that 1.3% of the votes cast in last week's presidential election were spoiled – many in a 'creative' way.

The initiative came from the parties that were left behind in the campaigning.  The head of the Yabloko Party’s youth movement, Ilya Yashin, said he couldn't take the poll seriously.

“Some screamed for a boycott, others chose not to go, we decided to make fun of the election and found a lot of supporters among internet users,”  said Ilya Yashin, Head of Yabloko’s youth movement. 

The Yabloko party failed to enter the two previous parliaments, and chose not to nominate a candidate this time. Yashin launched his own campaign – a competition for the best spoilt ballot.

The winners in the competition, held on the internet, were: “Pseudo Dmitry out of the Kremlin”, “My choice is good sex”. But the biggest hit was the “against all” slogan.

Some offered candidates of their own, like Connie, President Putin’s dog, or Bullwinkle the Moose for whatever reason.  Someone even suggested that the actor Chuck Norris should stand for election.

“The number of spoilt ballots was 1.3%. It’s not large. Up to 2% is in line with statistical error. So what we see now is a norm for a Russian election,” said Aleksey Grazhdankin from Levada Opinion Poll Centre .

According to Levada experts, the number of spoilt ballots even decreased after the option “against all” was removed from ballot papers.