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Almost One-Quarter of Russians Ready to Sell their Votes, Says Poll

Vedomosti

Almost one quarter of Russians are willing to sell their votes in upcoming parliamentary elections, according to a survey published Monday by the independent Levada Center pollster.

A total of 11 percent of Russians were prepared to give away their vote for 5,000 rubles ($78) while 7 percent would sell for 2,000 rubles or less, according to the Levada Center.

The ruling United Russia party is expected to win a majority in Sept. 18 elections to Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma.

Less than two thirds of Russians, 63 percent of respondents, said they would not sell their vote as a matter of principle, according to the poll conducted at the beginning of August.

The number of people ready to give away their votes is slightly higher than that recorded ahead of Russia’s last Duma elections in December 2011 when 19 percent of respondents said they would sell their vote. That election was marred by widespread fraud, including vote rigging and the casting of multiple ballot papers per person, and triggered a series of large anti-Kremlin street protests.

The poll was conducted among 1600 respondents in 48 Russian regions.

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