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Over 11% of Ukrainians face bribery in elections, 64% not ready to 'sell' their vote – poll

KYIV. Nov 26 (Interfax-Ukraine) – More than 11% of Ukrainian citizens have faced attempts to bribe in elections, according to the results of a study conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation jointly with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) commissioned by the OPORA civic network from October 22 to 12 November 2021.

According to the research data, voters with incomplete secondary education (14%), as well as respondents living in rural areas and residents of Western Ukraine (14.4%) reported attempts to bribe a little more often.

Thus, 54% of the respondents said that any offer of money would be unacceptable when motivating voters to sell their vote. However, those respondents who consider the sale of a vote realistic, name relatively small amounts for this: 12% believe that it is less than UAH 500, another 6% mention from UAH 500 to 1,000, and only 3.4% of survey participants said about amounts from UAH 1,000 to 2,000, and 1.3% – about amounts from UAH 2,000 to 5,000. Another 3.5% of the respondents noted that this amount should be more than UAH 5,000.

According to the survey, 64.5% of respondents are not ready to "sell" their vote under any circumstances. At the same time, among the 25% of citizens who are potentially ready for such actions, the most popular option is "vote for the candidate/party that you like, but also get paid for it."

At the same time, another 18% noted that everything depends on specific circumstances, and 13% – when they are sure that this will not lead to problems or negative consequences for them personally, 8.5% will agree, if they are asked about it by people they trust, and 6.3% – when they are offered a fair amount of remuneration.

As for the potential willingness to "sell" their vote, in the West there are fewer respondents who are ready to do it – 70% said they would not do it in any way. Meanwhile, in the south, there are 60% of them.

As noted in the study, younger voters were more likely to show a willingness to "sell" their vote: only 50% of voters under 30 said they were not ready for this in any way. Among older respondents, this figure is 60–70%. A significant part of young voters (37.3%) believe that they are ready to sell their vote if they like a candidate or a party. Among young people, any other motivation to justify the "sale" of the vote is much more common.

In addition, the absolute majority of respondents, when asked why voters agree to receive money or other material reward from a candidate/party in exchange for support in the elections, answered that the reason is that "people are poor, and this is an additional opportunity to earn extra money." (82.5%).

At the same time, another 65% mentioned that people do not care whom to vote for if they are offered money. Also, more than half of respondents (56%) emphasized that although voters take money, they vote on their own, and another 37% believe that people do not want to refuse a request of friends, relatives, neighbors, management, and colleagues.

The survey data also showed that the majority of respondents (62%) believe that both parties are to blame for the issue of bribery of voters.

The overwhelming majority of those surveyed agree that electoral bribery technologies affect election results. Thus, 33% noted that this influence is very great. Also, half of the respondents support the thesis that bribery of voters is not only a serious abuse, but also the main problem of the Ukrainian elections.

The nationwide survey was conducted using the CATI method (computer-assisted telephone interviews) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers.

The sample of the survey is representative of the adult population of Ukraine (18 years and older). The statistical error of the sample (with a probability of 0.95 and taking into account the design effect of 1.1) does not exceed: 2.4% for indicators close to 50%, 2.1% for indicators close to 25%, 1.5% for indicators close to 10%.