Only 8 percent of voters believe the elections will be fair


Ukrainians do not believe in honest elections and are ready to sell their votes. According to various public opinion surveys, between 44 and 60 percent of voters say that vote-rigging is possible while the number prepared to sell their vote is rising each year.

The Democratic Initiatives Foundation has published their study which found that only 8.5 percent of those surveyed believed that the local elections would be fair and pass without vote-rigging.

14% are convinced that there will be vote-rigging which will influence the outcome.

According to another survey carried out by the group Rating, voters in the North and West of the country are most worried about likely rigging of the results; least in the Donbas region

Sociologist Oleksy Antypovych believes that people are ready to sell their vote out of a sense of disillusionment. Of over two thousand respondents, more than 12 percent are prepared to do this. This is three percent more than exactly a year ago.

Priced from 50 UAH upwards

Voters price their votes at between 50 and 600 UAH. The more that’s offered, the more there are willing to sell. According to Oleksy Antypovych, “this is people who don’t see the sense in voting, they don’t believe that the results will be correct. Or they don’t have a choice from among the list of candidates, and they don’t care. There’s another category as well – those who are poor and want to “earn” some money. He believes that these people normally vote against all, and selling their vote is not always about wanting money, but more a response to the parasitism of politicians.

Experience shows that the figures on selling their votes are in fact declarative since respondents don’t willingly answer such questions. According to political analyst Ihor Balynsky, the percentage of those willing to sell their vote was considerably increased by people disillusioned with the “orange” regime. Another motive is protest against the bias in the information realm, manipulation and aggression from regional media outlets which is clearly seen during the election period. Nonetheless he believes the decision is dictated more by emotions since by no means everybody is aware that this carries criminal liability.

At the same time, just over 70 percent say that they would not sell their vote under any circumstances. However this figure drops by a few percentage points each year.

Some political parties have organized whole campaigns enjoining voters to not sell their votes, and distributing posters to this effect among young people.

Halyna Stadnyk

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