A Russian district called an election recount after someone else got more votes than Putin, reports say

  • A recount is underway in one Russian district after a Putin rival was recorded as having won more votes, per reports.

  • Officials began a recount after the voting tallies got media attention, according to Meduza.

  • The candidate, Nikolai Kharitonov, won 4.37% of the vote nationally.

An election recount is underway in one Russian district after President Vladimir Putin failed to win the vote there, according to local reports.

In fact, one of Putin's political rivals in the recent presidential election was recorded as gaining 10 times as many votes, reports said.

The polling station, in the city of Barnaul, in the southern republic of Altai, counted 763 votes for Communist Party candidate Nikolai Kharitonov, compared with just 73 for Putin, independent Russian news outlet Meduza reported, citing local sources.

The polling station is now undertaking a recount, after its results received considerable media attention, Meduza reported.

Officials say a data entry error led to inflated results for Kharitonov, the outlet reported.

Business Insider was unable to verify the reports independently, and the news feed of the city's official website makes no mention of the reported errors and recount, instead quoting multiple local officials who effusively praised the elections.

Russia's presidential election, which was held over the weekend, declared Putin the winner in a sweeping victory generally regarded as a sham and foregone conclusion.

Kharitonov, a longtime member of parliament, was one of three candidates who were allowed to compete in the election by Russia's Central Elections Commission.

Like fellow challengers ultranationalist Leonid Slutsky and the comparatively liberal Vladislav Davankov, Kharitonov does not oppose Putin's war in Ukraine — a position that has seen him placed under sanction in both the UK and the US.

Anti-war candidates Yekaterina Duntsova and Boris Nadezhdin were barred from running in the election.

Kharitonov also took part in Russia's 2004 presidential election, gaining 13.7% of the vote. This time around, he gained 4.37% of the overall vote.

Asked by the BBC ahead of the elections why he would be a better candidate than Putin, Kharitonov said: "It's not for me to say," adding: "That wouldn't be right."

He went on to lavish praise on the incumbent, telling the BBC: "He's trying to consolidate the nation for victory in all areas. And this will happen!"

The reported vote recount wasn't the only reason Barnaul made the news. On March 17, one resident at another polling station in Barnaul tried to tear up the voting roll, regional outlet Bankfax reported.

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