An analysis of archive footage from polling stations in Russia recorded during parliamentary elections last year suggests over 17 million ballots were cast fraudulently, independent media outlet Meduza reported Friday.
At the time of the September elections, Russia’s Central Elections Commission said it lacked money to provide online video streaming from all polling stations.
But Meduza said it obtained over a million hours of footage from more than 9,000 polling stations in 19 regions. The outlet said it then used artificial intelligence to analyze recordings from 3,505 polling stations.
The results, according to Meduza, showed that less than 2 million voters actually cast ballots at these polling stations — whereas official data recorded 3.2 million votes.
Meduza claimed this meant about a third of the ballots were fake and that — if this pattern was replicated across Russia — the total number of stuffed ballots in the State Duma elections was as high as 17.1 million.
According to the official results, the elections were won by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party with just over 28 million ballots cast for its candidates (49.8% of the vote).