A surveillance video emerged showing ballot box stuffing occurring in the Russian election. Multiple videos and photos allegedly showing ballot fraud have made their way out of Russia since Friday.
The State Department issued a statement; "September 17-19 Duma elections in the Russian Federation took place under conditions not conducive to free and fair proceedings."
Opponents of Putin's United Russia party insisted that there was "mass fraud" during Monday's election, Reuters reported. United Russia won a parliamentary by a margin much bigger than anticipated.
The Central Election Commission claimed victory for United Russia after 99.9 percent of the ballots were reportedly counted. Approximately 50 percent of the vote went to Putin's party, giving the party a majority. "More than two-thirds of deputies in the 450-seat State Duma lower house of parliament" went to United Russia, Reuters reported, meaning that Putin will be able to push through legislation regardless of opposition.
Concerns with the elections stemmed from the Putin regime's "use of laws on 'extremist organizations,' 'foreign agents,' and 'undesirable organizations' severely restricted political pluralism and prevented the Russian people from exercising their civil and political rights," spokesperson Ned Price wrote.
Putin's government had classified their opposition as "extremists," and in June had made it an offense to have given material support to election candidates. In the time leading up to the election, reports from opposition candidates surfaced online claiming that ballots had been printed with multiple candidates sharing their same names in an effort to confuse voters. Dissent was also censored.
The State Department reported that there were "widespread efforts to marginalize independent political figures," and that European election integrity watchdog groups were prevented by Putin "from observing the elections, constricting transparency that is essential to fair elections."
"These actions," Price's statement continued, "contradict Russia’s obligations, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as its commitments to the OSCE and other international and regional bodies."
Golos, a group that has been working to reveal the problems with Russia's election process since 2000, commented on Monday that "Violations during the vote and the vote count, the three-day voting procedure and the way the vote count went in some regions, during which, in our opinion, results have been significantly distorted, don’t allow us to talk about the veracity of the results the system of election commission is demonstrating right now," as per an AP report.
The Biden administration called "upon Russia to honor its international obligations to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to end its pressure campaign on civil society, the political opposition, and independent media."
"Furthermore," they concluded, "we do not recognize holding elections for the Russian Duma on sovereign Ukrainian territory and reaffirm our unwavering support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine."