“Elections” were held in the self proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic last sunday. Quotation marks are necessary because it wasn’t an election as we know in the Western countries, but only an act of voting and the votes were not even counted.
The falsification of results followed the same pattern as in the Luhansk People’s Republic referendum in June: First they decided how many percent of the votes each candidate would get with an accuracy of two decimals. Then they made up the number of the people who voted and multiplied that number by the percentage of the votes for each candidate.
As the official internet page of the Donetsk Election Committee tells us, the amount of counted votes was 969 644. We can now divide the number of votes for each candidate by the number of total votes to see exact percentages:
Zaharchenko: 765 340 / 969 644 = 78,93000%
Kofman: 111 024 / 969 644 = 11,4400%
Sivokonenko: 93 280 / 969 644 = 9,6200%
Discarded votes 43039 / (969 644+43039) = 4,25000%
As you can see, all of the percentages are even up to the four decimals. This is extremely unlikely to happen in any fair elections, but it’s possible. When this happens twice within a year to two self proclaimed Republics in the Eastern Ukraine, you understands that they don’t actually bother to count the votes and that they’re not too subtle about it.
There are two kind elections in today's world. The first kind is the kind we’re used to in developed countries: Political parties battle it out in media, try to rally their voters and collect donations. Elections are a long process. It isn't always pretty, but in the end we get legitimate government. In the second type of the countries, there are dictators who are unsure about their true popularity but they want to appear legitimate as well. And they try to achieve this by mimicking some parts of elections, most often just the voting process. This way they resemble the Cargo cult trying to build an airport out of bamboo hoping that the big metal bird will bring food once again. In the case of Donetsk People’s Republic, the bamboo airport is so poorly built that it’s not fooling anyone.
If you can read Russian and would like to know more about the elections (in Ukraine, Russia or in general), I suggest you check out Alexander Kureev's blog.