Crimea voter turnout

Just some Crimea, Ukraine, voting turnout figures for perspective…

2004 runoff (Yushchenko defeats Yanukovych): 1.16 million.

2007 national legislative election (Yanukovych’s Party of Regions wins a plurality, though only 34%, nationwide): <850k.

2010 presidency (Yanukovych beats Tymoshenko): I can’t find raw number of votes, but turnout in Crimea is <50%, lowest in Ukraine.

2012 legislative (Party of Regions wins majority of seats despite 30% of votes nationwide): 733k.

Keep these less-than-impressive trends in Crimea voting turnout, even as Putin’s allies gain more power over time, in mind as Crimea’s “referendum” approaches.

10 thoughts on “Crimea voter turnout

  1. Around 980k voted in Crimea in 2010, so only about 80% of the number of valid votes cast in the election won by Yushchenko in 2004. Even out of this lower turnout, Yanukovych managed 61% of the votes cast in Crimea in 2010, compared to 81% in 2004!

    (Thanks for the reminder, Manuel. For some reason it did not occur to me that you had regional breakdowns of the Ukrainian votes. I should have known; it is such a spectacularly good resource!)

  2. The reported results show a valid votes total of 1,264,999. Sure, because no one would have believed it if they said 1,265,000. We are presumably supposed to accept this record high total of valid votes in spite of the boycott by Crimean Tatars and many Ukrainian speakers.

    Based on the claimed figures, that would mean a total electorate of 1,533,208.

    If we go back to 2012, the eligible electorate was 1,521,509, which was a decrease from 1,551,172 in 2010. Given that there was obviously not time taken for a voter-registration drive, let’s just say an increase in the electorate by 11,699 is a little fishy.

    • To be certain, I find the numbers very fishy as well, but for completely different reasons. Specifically, the city of Sevastopol, while geographically located on the Crimean peninsula, was not administratively part of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea; therefore, election results for the city are listed separately from those for the rest of Crimea on my website, since that’s exactly how they appear on Ukraine’s Central Election Commission’s website pages, with Sevastopol at the bottom of the list of regions.

      Now, in the 2012 election Sevastopol city had 303,066 electors on the voters’ lists, which meant the corresponding figure for the whole of Crimea was 1,824,575. Since Sevastopol joined the rest of Crimea in “seceding” from Ukraine, and since presumably last March 16 vote also took place in the city, I find it far more suspicious that the size of the electorate suddenly shrunk by close to 300,000 voters.

      I should also note that in the 2010 presidential election – which is generally regarded as a free and fair poll – there was a noticeable increase in the size of the electorate between the first round and the runoff vote, both in all of Ukraine as well as in Crimea.

      Finally, on a related note, Russia’s seizure of Crimea (and Russia’s justification for the annexation of the peninsula) has been compared to Adolf Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia’s mainly ethnic German Sudetenland in 1938. But that’s not the only uncomfortable parallel: after further amputations (by Hungary and Poland) took place, what was left of Czechoslovakia – up to that point a unitary state – became a short-lived federation of the Czech lands, Slovakia and Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia – short-lived because the arrangement exacerbated tensions between the Czechs and the Slovaks, which Nazi Germany manipulated to bring about the country’s break-up the following year. Meanwhile, Russia is now pressing Ukraine to adopt a federal structure as well…

      • Yes, there were separate “referendum” results released for Sevastopol city, which is indeed not part of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within Ukraine. In case anyone cares, the “result” in favor of joining Russia was somewhat less overwhelming in Sevastopol (from memory, around 95%).

        Of course, I agree that the numbers are not to be taken seriously. I would have hoped my view on this might have been clear from both the original post, and from my immediately preceding comment.

      • I have indeed confirmed that the city of Sevastopol had separate results, but it appears to be even worse than I originally thought: apparently, voter turnout there exceeded the city’s entire population, children included.

        I can’t help but think of a story I was told many years ago, regarding the Spanish 1966 organic law referendum organized by the Franco regime: after the polls closed, a newsreader on the country’s state-run TV enthusiastically announced that “turnout has been so high, it has reached 102%.” As the story goes, he was promptly pulled off the air.

      • Is that a true story from Spain, Manuel? It is a great anecdote! And thanks for confirming the absurdity of the Sevastopol turnout.

      • The original source of the story is a former university professor in Madrid, who was subsequently elected to Parliament and became a cabinet minister after democratic rule was reinstated in Spain. The story was relayed to me by one of his students, a personal friend who went on to become a university professor himself and a well-known public figure here in Puerto Rico; I have no reason to believe either of the two gentlemen in question would make up something like that. Moreover, I spoke with my friend this morning about this, and he confirmed every detail of it.

        That said, one anecdote about the Spanish 1966 referendum I did read about firsthand was published by the Spanish newsweekly Cambio 16, if I’m not mistaken around the time of the 1986 NATO referendum. The magazine ran an article on past Spanish referendums, and on the matter of the 1966 vote it noted that while authorities had cooked figures ahead of the vote count, the actual returns coming from the provinces were so much better than the numbers they had prepared beforehand that they didn’t need to use them…

  3. Numbers are not worth for serious consideration. The results were even more spinned out of thin air than eligible voter numbers. E.g. Alexander Kireev (of ElectoralGeography.com) rips them apart at kireev.livejournal.com.

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