Churov compares US and Russian election systems
31.10.12 15:16 By Zhanna Ulyanova, edite by Karina Ayvazova
Photo: RIA Novosti
The head of Russia's Central Election Commission Vladimir Churov has written an article criticizing the U.S. electoral system. The article, published in the Kremlin-run paper "Rossiyskaya gazeta", was called "How the U.S. protects people's electoral rights" as it contained thoughts about the forthcoming presidential vote in the USA.
A day earlier Russia's CEC published a 164-sheet report comparing Russia's and USA's electoral systems, underlining the advantageous of the first one towards the second one.
Churov explained the careful attention towards the U.S. election with the fact that in 2002 while monitoring the U.S. elections, the experts from OSCE announced there was a problem in the USA with limitation of voting right.
The active campaign watching the American elections started immediately after the regional elections in Russia, during which Churov announced there were no violations or riggings. On October 22, the State Duma discussed the report by Russia's Foreign Ministry called "About human rights in the USA" which said that there are serious violations of voting rights in the USA. At the same session Vladimir Churov was requested to write a detailed comparison of the two electoral systems.
In his article, Churov says that general elections in the USA which involves electing some 18 000 government officials – from sheriffs to presidents – cannot be transparent by definition. In the U.S., the president and vice president are elected by an electoral college delegated to the states. The number of electors from each state equals to the number of representatives of the region in the Senate. "As a result, the president in the USA is elected by 280 people only," Churov wrote.
According to the CEC head, the big disadvantage of the US election system is the decentralized system of voting. The registeration of American voters is also something which is done with many violations.
The USA also lacks a secret ballot. "For example, the information about party members is saved in electronic format," Churov wrote.
Churov also mentions the fact that the US elections are not usually monitored by any international observers and organizations. "It is surprising, but there has never been a real OSCE delegation which would go and monitor elections in the USA."
In the conclusion Churov said that "during all 223 years of U.S. election history, it was full of examples how the rights of Americans were violated."
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