Manipulating the results of polls is a favorite tool in the Russian disinformation toolkit. The latest example of this tried and true method is the manipulative presentation of a poll conducted by the reputable Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). More than half of Ukrainians are not ready to participate in elections – declared the Russian website Ukraina.ru.
KIIS conducted its annual Ukraine wide poll in September. One of the questions posed asks: If parliamentary elections were conducted next week, would you vote? If yes, whom would you vote for if the following parties took part in the election?
22% responded with “I would not participate in the elections”. 31% responded with “Not sure”. Ukraina.ru has lumped these two groups together to get their Ukrainian apathetic electoral majority.
Responding to StopFake’s enquiry about the results of the poll, KIIS General Director Volodymyr Paniotto said there is no appropriate sociological formula that accurately predicts future voter turnout. People are somewhat disoriented at this time, he noted, that is why more than 30% responded with “not sure”. However after an election campaign, the number of those willing to vote always rises, Paniotto pointed out.
More than 52% voted in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary elections, local elections held in 2015 brought in 47% of all Ukrainian voters. Generally presidential elections bring in a higher voter turnout, 60% voted in the 2014 presidential elections, 69% in the 2010 second presidential election round that pitted ousted President Viktor Yanukovych against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Voter turnout fluctuates throughout the world, with the US generally having lower voter participation than other developed countries. Turnout is highest in those countries where voting is compulsory.