Youths' Exit Poll Reflects Official Results

The exit poll results from Nashi Vybory, a spinoff from the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi, lay among hamburger wrappers Sunday on a table at the McDonald's on the Arbat.

Sheet after sheet -- of exit polls, not burger wrappers -- showed checkmarks next to United Russia. "Some organizations will claim that there were election falsifications, and we need to show that the vote was clean," said Igor Boiko, a 19-year-old volunteer.

Nashi Vybory mobilized 20,000 teenagers nationwide to conduct exit polls for the State Duma elections. Minutes after the Central Elections Commission issued its first results late Sunday, showing United Russia with 62 percent of the vote, Nashi Vybory announced that the party had taken 61.88 percent. The youth group claimed a margin of error of just one percentage point.

Volunteers were dressed Sunday in bright red scarves and jackets with a portrait of President Vladimir Putin on the left sleeve and the phrase "Politspetsnaz," or "Political Commandos," over the heart. At a polling station on Gazetny Pereulok in central Moscow, a Union of Right Forces activist stopped two who were conducting an exit poll.

"What's that on your scarf?" he said. "That's campaigning. Take them off immediately or I will call the police."

The two volunteers, Irina Yefimova and Olga Rudchenko, complied.