In July of 2020, Russians went to the polls and, in an historic vote, decided Vlad Putin should be allowed to run for president even more times. That’s right, they voted to reset the clock on ole Vlad’s tenure. He’s been alternately Prime Minister or President since 1999. That’s 22 years in human age.
The United States raised concern over the legitimacy of the vote (aljazeera), as did opposition leader Alexei Nevalny. Nevalny has since spent time in a German hospital from Novichok nerve agent he imbibed at a Russian cafe. Upon return to the Russian Federation he was arrested and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in a prison labor camp. Amnesty International calls him a prisoner of conscience.
The votes were taken over a 7 day period. During that time Putin authorized a one time payment to those with children of 10,000 rubles. There was also prize drawings rewarding Putin backers with a free flat.
Was the election rigged? Some observers believe so; Putin won the extension with 77.9% of the vote with 65% of Russians voting. Is it possible the election was hacked?
It is reminiscent of the 2016 US election of Donald Trump. He lost by 3 million votes but won the districts necessary, often by a hair margin, to get the electoral votes to win. Blaming Russian interference and Facebook didn’t grant the legitimacy desired so it was played off on Jan 6th. A huge extravaganza event to embarrass Americans to the point they would never call foul on election results again.
Legitimacy is the problem. It’s time to push HR-1 For the People Act through Congress. It will clean up the voting process to include requiring voting machines to be disconnected from the internet. Don’t let Joe Manchin stop us from getting the fair voting system that will help people believe in democracy again.