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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

CEC Mulls Suit on Net Report

The Central Election Commission may seek legal sanctions against a Russian political consulting firm for running exit polls on the Internet on Sunday in what officials said was a violation of the ban on publishing pre-election polls.

The Fund for Effective Politics, headed by Gleb Pavlovsky, started displaying results of exit polls on its site on Sunday morning in a move that Central Election Commission member Olga Volkova said was "outrageous."

Commission spokesman Anatoly Golev said Monday that commission members will meet Tuesday to determine if Pavlovsky broke the law.

The law on State Duma elections prohibits either any electoral opinion polls or forecasts of returns run in mass media within three days before the elections and on the poll day itself. The law doesn't specify any punishment or whether it covers the Internet.

Pavlovsky claimed Sunday that his site did not represent a mass medium, never having been registered as such.

Marina Litvinvovich, Pavlovsky's deputy, said the web site,, had registered some 20,000 hits before the exit poll data were removed at 7 p.m. to make room for upcoming election numbers, with still two hours left before the embargo on such information was to end. The information was quickly picked up by other sites.

Commission officials contacted the fund's Internet provider, Telecom Center, and asked the Russia-based company to shut down the site, but were refused, Litvinovich said.