Elections in our country are the most democratic in the world.
They are equal, general, direct by secret ballot.
All the citizens of the Soviet Union beginning with the age of eighteen have a right to vote irrespective of racial or national differences, sex, religion, education, domicile, property or social status, past activities.
Each Soviet voter who goes to the polls has only one vote and may be included in only one list.
Not only rural and city Soviets, but also the Supreme Soviet are elected by direct vote.
Some time before the elections of deputies an election campaign is announced.
At nomination meetings the best sons and daughters of our country are nominated to run (stand) for elections.
The country is divided into constituencies or election districts.
During the election campaign agitators speak to the electorate1 (electors) for the candidates nominated to run for the elections.
Polling day is a holiday for the people of our country.
The polling stations are beautifully decorated.
Polling begins at six o'clock in the morning.
Each voter must cast his vote in person.
His name is checked off the voting list, and he is given a ballot-form with the name of the candidate on it.
Then he goes to a special room where the voting-booths are.
He enters one of them and reads the form.
If he wishes to change the name on the ballot-form he may do so.
From the booth he goes to the ballot-box and casts his vote.
If a voter is seriously ill and cannot come to the polling station a member of the district election commission comes to his house with a ballot-form and a sealed ballot-box.
If a ballot is not marked according to instructions it is considered invalid.
If not less than half of the voters take part in the elections and their candidate gets a majority of votes he is elected (returned).
- Will you kindly explain to me the election system in the Soviet Union?
- With the greatest pleasure. You may see everything with your own eyes because it is polling day to-day. Today we are electing deputies to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
- Now I understand why Moscow has such a festive air (why there is such a festive air about Moscow).
- Polling day is always a holiday in our country.
- May we enter a polling station? I'd like to see how voting is carried on in your country.
- Certainly. Here is one. Let us go in.
- Why are there so many people in the place?
- But that's quite natural. All the citizens of our country beginning with the age of eighteen have a right to vote irrespective of racial or national differences, sex, religion, education, domicile, property or social status, past activities.
- Are the higher organs of power in your country also elected by direct vote?
- Yes, of course. Direct elections allow the voters to control their deputies and strengthen the responsibilities of the deputies to their voters. If a deputy does not carry out his duties properly, the voters have a right to recall him and elect another candidate.
- What are these tables for? And why are there so many?
- There are two or more letters of the alphabet to each table.
There the voters have their names checked off the voting-list and are given ballot-forms.
- What does secret ballot mean?
- You see there is a special room where there are voting-booths.
- May we go into one?
- Yes, only when there is no elector there. The voter must be alone in the booth.
- What does the voter do there?
- He may sit down and read the ballot-form. If he does not like a candidate he may strike him off the list.
- May one member of a family cast votes for the other members of his family?
- No, that's impossible. Each voter must cast his vote in person.
- And if a voter is ill and cannot come to the polling station?
- A member of the election commission comes to his home with a ballot-form and a sealed ballot-box.
- Who is running in this election district?
- Comrade Ivanova - a worker of the Likhachov auto-works.
- By whom was she nominated?
- She was nominated at the nomination meeting of the workers of her plant.
- Did you take part in the election campaign?
- Oh, yes. I was agitator and spoke for the candidates running for the elections in my district.
- When will the election returns be published?
- In two or three days as soon as the ballot-forms have been counted.
- Thank you very much. Now I have a clear idea what the Soviet election system is.
WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS