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Russia to use foreign camera, PCs for online broadcasts from polling stations

December 19, 2011, 20:26 UTC+3

The Ministry of Mass Communications has already drafted a concept for online broadcasts from polling stations during elections

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MOSCOW, December 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia does not have enough web cameras and computers for organising online broadcasts from polling stations during the upcoming president election slated for March 2012, Deputy Minister of Mass Communications Ilya Massukh said.

Since there are about 95,000 polling stations in Russia and each will have one to three cameras, some 300,000 cameras will be needed altogether.

“There are no so many cameras on the Russian market and we will have to look for suppliers abroad,” he said on Monday, December 19.

Massukh said simple web cameras with a a range of no more than 50 metres will be used for the purpose.

The same is true of computers to be used for online broadcasts. “We need to install 100,000 computers, but there is no way we can find so many in Russia,” he said, adding that Russia can provide no more than 20,000 computers.

“For the project to make a successful start, all equipment must be in Russia by the end of January,” Massukh said.

He admitted that this is a challenging project as no other country has ever undertaken anything like this before.

The Ministry of Mass Communications has already drafted a concept for online broadcasts from polling stations during elections.

To this end at least seven regional data processing centres will have to be created.

The programme drafted by the ministry includes detailed specifications for equipment to be used at the polling stations, data processing centres and web portals for online broadcasts. It says in particular that data processing centres will have to be located in secure places and have high-speed connection to the Internet.

The facilities to be used will have to be able to carry online broadcasts from least 95,000 polling stations at the same time. Each polling station will have one to three video cameras.

No less than 20,000 online broadcasts will be transmitted at any one time.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has suggested installing video cameras at all polling stations for the upcoming presidential election slated for March 2012.

“In order to have no problems whatsoever, in order to minimise the opportunity to claim that these elections or any other elections are or will be dishonest, in order to know the ground from under the feet of those who want to delegitimise the country's authorities, I have a suggestion: I suggest and ask that the Central Election Commission install web cameras at all of the polling stations, and let them be working round the clock, day and night, arrange broadcasts on the Internet so that the country could see what is happening at every polling station near every ballot box in order to avoid any distortion there,” he said.


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