Elections in New York and Moscow

In order to force a Democratic primary in New York’s Congressional District 14, Alexandria Ocásio-Cortez had to gather 1,250 signatures in five weeks. On April 12, 2018, she submitted 5,480 signatures to the election authorities. That’s about 2.3% of the district’s total registered Democrats (236k) and 2.6% of the registered Democratic voters listed as active (215k). The minimum requirement (1,250) equaled 0,5% and 0,6% of the respective totals.

To run for the city council at the September 2019 election in Moscow, Russia, independent candidates were required to obtain signatures from 3% of eligible voters in their districts in four weeks up to July 4, 2019. Since the number of voters in Moscow’s 45 electoral districts ranges from 145k to 177k (61-82% of registered Democrats in AOC’s district), the minimum signature requirement ranges accordingly from 4,354 to 5,315. As far as I know, 17 candidates in 17 districts managed to meet the threshold.

However, the city’s election commission has disqualified all the 17 independents, declaring a large proportion of their signatures invalid under various pretexts, spurious and/or ridiculous. This is what the current protests in Moscow are about.

It’s probably worth noting that Moscow voters may sign more than one nomination petition, that the Moscow weather in June is better than Queens weather in March, that some of the Moscow candidates are well-known to their constituents as municipal councilors at the district level. On the other hand, AOC wasn’t opposing an authoritarian regime and New York’s election board is not a troupe of Trump’s puppets. Plus, she had to meet a much lower threshold even though she exceeded it by a factor of four plus.

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