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    MOSCOW, March 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti)-The head of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Alexander Veshnyakov, highly assessed the operation of the CEC Election 2004 information center.

    Mr. Veshnyakov told journalists on Monday, "the center worked openly and very effectively."

    He noted that the information center worked for 24 hours and provided information about the vote count of the Russian presidential elections, the legislature deputy elections and the elections of the regional heads every hour.

    Mr. Veshnyakov recalled that representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor General's Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had visited the information center.

    According to the CEC head, information about violations during the elections was made public.

    "On the basis of due account for the errors we will be able to further improve the election system. We will give a powerful push to the departments to correct their mistakes and minor defects," Mr. Veshnyakov stressed.

    He also highly praised the electronic ballot processing system, which was used for the first time in the March 14 elections. (Several hundred polling stations were equipped with electronic ballot boxes that scanned the ballots and immediately sent the results to a database.)

    Mr. Veshnyakov told journalists, "the ballots were processed in keeping with the requirements of the law, and operational information was sent to the Central Elections Commission."

    According to him, no remarks or complaints about the electronic ballot processing system were voiced .

    Mr. Veshnyakov noted that this system could be used in the future elections "with a view to making the work of the Central Elections Commission faster and more objective."

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