September 04, 2020

Good Deed Punished


Good Deed Punished
Having gramatically incorrect ballots in this case would only add insult to injury. Yaromir Romanov, Znak.com

Sometimes doing the right thing can get you in trouble. That's what happened to 80-year-old Lyudmila Stolyarova, a pensioner in the town of Yeisk, who is faced with a fine for election fraud in Russia's constitutional referendum this past summer.

Stolayarova, a pensioner in that southern city of 88,000, was visited at her home by election commission officials on June 25, who offered to cast her vote for her. She accepted. A couple of days later, more officials stopped by with the same offer, but Stolyarova refused to open the door for them, as she'd effectively already cast her vote.

She then went to a polling place to double-check, to ensure her vote was counted. Seeing that she was not marked as having voted, she was handed a ballot, which she submitted.

Almost two months later, police called Stolyarova into the station and accused her of voter fraud. Her granddaughter says the allegation is bunk, as the tale highlights breaches in vote administration.

Regardless, on August 28, the court's ruling was handed down: a fine of 15,000 rubles, about $200. Which, on Russia's pension system, is pretty hefty.

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