The Central Elections Commission's announcement last week that that the number of registered voters shot up by 750, 000 [from October 31] to a total of 37.6 million shows the scale of the vote-rigging, said Andrei Duda of the Union of Ukrainian Voters, a nongovernmental organization that monitored the election.
The commission revised the number after correcting lists of voters from the first round in this nation of 47.4 million.
Duda said that most of these additional voters were "dead souls," whose names were used on multiple absentee ballots and added as many as 2 million votes to the final vote count.
He said he suspects authorities also inflated voter rolls by leaving names with incorrect spellings on them after voters whose names were wrong had them corrected.
Yushchenko said five times more absentee ballots than in the first round were distributed across the country.
Local observers reported a number of cases of voters casting absentee ballots at multiple polling stations. In one example, Duda's organization said it saw 12 young men riding in a yellow minivan from one polling station to the next in the city of Uzhgorod in the Zakarpatsky region. It said the van was accompanied by a police patrol car.
Yushchenko accused election officials of trying to stuff ballot boxes in the Nikolayevsk region, saying a third of voters there cast ballots in boxes that were specially delivered to their homes -- a right usually reserved for ill or elderly people.
Yushchenko urged the authorities to cancel voting results at polling stations where violations were reported.
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