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The New International, February 1938



From New International, Vol.4 No.2, February 1938, p.63
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The Stalinist Elections

In a Moscow dispatch to the New York Times (Dec. 14, 1937), its Moscow correspondent, Harold Denny, quotes from a report of the recently concluded elections which appeared in Pravda and which, from the solemnly mocking tone in which it ridicules the farcical elections, must have been written by one of the numerous “diversionists” who serves Stalin with tongue in cheek until he flings them before a firing squad. THE WHOLE election procedure is being carried out to the last with the same meticulosity as if a real election campaign were being waged.

Pravda today carried the following description of the ceremony of counting the ballots in the Seventy-fifth Precinct of the Stalin district, where every elector voted and voted for Stalin, who, of course, was unopposed for the Soviet of the Union:

“Midnight has struck. The twelfth of December, the day of the first general, equal and direct elections to the Supreme Soviet, has ended. The result of the voting is about to be announced.

“The commission remains alone in its room. It is quiet, and the lamps are shining solemnly. Amid the general attentive and intense expectation the chairman performs all the necessary formalities before counting of the ballots – checking up by list how many voters there were and how many have voted – and the result is 100 per cent. 100 per cent! What election in what country for what candidate has given a 100 per cent response?

“The main business starts now. Excitedly the chairman inspects the seals on the boxes. Then the members of the commission inspect them. The seals are intact and are cut off. The boxes are opened.

“It is quiet. They sit attentively and seriously, these election inspectors and executives.

“Now it is time to open the envelopes. Three members of the commission take scissors. The chairman rises. The tellers have their copybooks ready. The first envelope is slit. All eyes are directed to it. The chairman takes out two slips – white [for a candidate for the Soviet of the Union] and blue [for a candidate for the Soviet of Nationalities] – and reads loudly and distinctly, ‘Comrade Stalin.’

“Instantly the solemnity is broken. Everybody in the room jumps up and applauds joyously and stormily for the first ballot of the first general secret election under the Stalinist Constitution – a ballot with the name of the Constitution’s creator.”

The account goes on to tell of the ovation that greeted the announcement of each Soviet of the Union ballot – every one for Stalin.

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