There are discrepancies in numbers being reported by Russian media regarding Crimean voters in the referendum. According to Russian media, in particular gazeta.ru
81.36% of Crimean voters presented themselves as of 20:00 (22:00 Moscow time). Mihail Malyshev, president of the supreme commission of Crimea, and the person responsible for organizing and holding referendums, announced this number.
He stated that, «As of 20:00 (8 p.m.), 1,250,426 people cast their votes in Crimea. This is excluding Sevastopol … If we also add Sevastopol, a total of 1,724,563 people cast their votes.»
In attempting to verify this information, we discovered discrepancies. As seen in the video footage announcing these numbers, Malyshev said 1,524,563 voters cast their ballots and not 1,724,563. ITAR-TASS made this mistake in the original news report, which was then picked up by other Russian media, numerous analysers, and even ourselves and StopFake. This resulted in reports of a 123% participation rate.
On the other hand, in the same video at minute 15 we hear information about 1,724,563, which creates double confusion and seems to be the original source of this misinformation.
We implore journalists to please verify information they receive. Thank you.
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