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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

18: $100 x 2 million voters

The Gorshenin Institute’s Kost Bondarenko offered an estimate of the dollars being spent per vote in the Kyiv mayoral campaign. Bondarenko said that most election headquarters are resorting to the outright purchasing of votes – up to $100 per vote.

“This means that in Kyiv there is no competition between political programs or personalities, representatives of various political forces. At this moment the Kyiv campaign has been reduced to a battle of technologies with direct purchasing of voter votes,” said Bondarenko, according to the May 6 UNIAN commentary.

Meanwhile, the Kyiv Territorial Election Commission announced that there will be 1,026 polling stations open across the capital city on May 25.

In the Sept. 2007 snap Rada elections, voter turn out was over 63% in the seven electoral districts across the capital city: of 2.2 million eligible voters, 1.4 million ballots were cast at 1,028 stations.

Thus, the $100 per vote value would place the campaign in the $140 to $220 million range. That seems high, but is another reason why elections should be held more often – say once a year, with voters getting paid at the polling station upon casting their ballot. Such a measure could arguably help counter falsification, as voters would be sure to show up to collect at least a hundred bucks, in their hryvnia equivalent, naturally.

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