“You all know your numbers”: polling station rehearsed announcement of Belarus dictator Lukashenka’s “victory”

Polling station No. 48 in the Frunzensky district, which operates at 39th gymnasium, where the rehearsal of vote counting was recorded. Source: tut.by 

International

Editor’s Note

The 2020 election results in Belarus are rigged, protesters in Belarus claim. At many polling stations, observers recorded a 110–140% turnover. Voting places were awfully slow in order to limit the number of people who were able to vote. Independent observers faced difficulties to observe voting and counting from the very beginning till the very end. Many of them were detained without cause.

Finally, independent counting of votes by the opposition that was conducted at some polling stations showed opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanovskaya won, contrary to official counting that showed an enormous 80% victory of Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Independent polls and exit polls were banned in Belarus and there is no way to determine the real level of support to Lukashenka through sociology. But if Lukashenka’s rating was more than 50%, he would be interested in well-known independent sociological centers to show this and legitimize the elections, claims Volodymyr Paniotto, director of Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

Among the many proofs that the election results are rigged is an audio-recording of the rehearsal of vote counting two days ahead of the voting day published on the “Honest people” Youtube platform campaigning for honest elections.

All the numbers were already known during the rehearsal. Although the chairman of the local election commission whose voice sounds on the record told journalists she just chose random numbers to explain to the members of the commission how votes are counted, this contradicts what she said during the recorded rehearsal. In particular, that:

They’ve already given you everything. You all know your numbers, right now at the moment. You can memorize them as much as possible. Or the template should not be visible.

The tape was secretly made on 7 August at one of the polling stations in Minsk, during the rehearsal of how to count and announce the results at the end of the electoral process.

“They’ve already given you everything. You all know your numbers,” says the head of the commission, instructing commission members how to count votes two days later.

Next comes the counting of unused ballots. The members of the commission announced the numbers: “108, 93, 104, 126, 150. Total: 581.” Further, according to the same principle, the exact number of spoiled ballots is announced, with votes received for each candidate and against all. All these two days ahead of the end of elections.

At the rehearsal, Andrei Dmitriev scored 64 votes, Anna Kanopatskaya – 16, Alyaksandr Lukashenka – 952, Sviatlana Tsikhanovskaya — 102, and Sergei Cherechen — 18. It looks as if the commission has already received the figures, which should be announced on the evening of August 9 and is perfecting the algorithm of actions so that everything goes smoothly.

From the names that sound on the recording, it was possible to find out that the rehearsal was conducted by the electoral commission of the polling station No. 48 in the Frunzensky district, which operates in the territory of the 39th gymnasium. Therefore, journalists of the Belarusian outlet TUT.BY could visit the head of the elections commission at the polling station whose voice was recorded.

The 39th gymnasium that was visited by journalists. Source: tut.by

The arrival of journalists did not embarrass either the members of the precinct commission or its chairman, Irina Misevets, the director of gymnasium No. 39, whose voice is heard on the recording. She said that she had already listened to it and assured that “nothing criminal had happened.”

“The explanation is quite simple – this is a recording of the training on counting the votes. Before any elections, we have a training on the main day, where I give instructions so that each member of the commission knows his mission, knows what time we arrive, when we seal the ballot boxes, and so on. We are also working over how the counting will take place. Everyone should know who is packing the ballots, who’s announcing and counting, who’s putting the seal,” explains Irina Misevets. “I come up with the numbers for the training myself, so that people understand what will develop in the future. And so that the secretary understands that he needs to add such numbers when the members of the commission pronounce them, so that the secretary will correctly enter everything in the protocol… There was no time to find out who did it and why.  And you don’t need to figure it out.  For me, this is open information.  You can rehearse with me as much as you like.”

The chairman of the commission assured that the numbers from the record will not coincide with those that will be announced after the count. But one can hear from the record that commission members are clearly informed that this is restricted information and confidential numbers that are “already given.”

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