I’m proud to report that this blog is the very first source to report the results of Russia’s 2008 presidential election a full day before the polls even open. The victor of this heated contest: Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, taking home his very first elective position by a landslide.* Thanks to our international network of informants in regional government administrations, at the electoral authorities, among the media, and within the FSB, we have been fortunate to obtain the results of the election 24 hours ahead of everyone else, including the voters themselves. In our exclusive interviews with some of the bureaucrats responsible for rigging the elections, we were informed that all is proceeding according to plan. “We were worried whether or not we could get enough people to show up at the polls for the cameras in order to fake the vote,” one bureaucrat told us, “but thanks to the free haircuts and medical check-ups to draw people in, we were able to pull it off!” The results: an astonishing 84% of the vote for Medvedev, with Communist Gennady Zyuganov trailing with 10%, and Ultra-Nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky coming in last with 4%. There was a remarkably low 2% abstention rate, and the electoral authorities decided at the last minute not to include the liberal Andrei Bogdanov on the ballot. “The orders came from above last night that we no longer needed the legitimacy puppet,” our source in the FSB vote monitoring department told us. While most regional governments were ordered by the Kremlin to secure at least a 68%-70% voter turnout, other regional governments went above an beyond the call of duty: The overachieving regional authorities in Ingushtia and Dagestan were boasting of 112% turnout for Medvedev, while one confused mayor from Sakhalin Island accidentally sent in the actual turnout figures (15%). He was swiftly whisked away to the gulag and replaced by a more energetic young FSB officer – who quickly tabulated an 85% turnout all the way from his office in London. The media was also busy preparing for the big day tomorrow, and reporters informed us that they just received their approved copy from the government censors, as well as convenient b-roll footage from the Kremlin depicting lines of people waiting for either the soup kitchen or their driver’s license. “It isn’t clear which bureaucratic incompetence these people are waiting for on the TV reel, but it looks like democracy,” said one anchor to our correspondents. Calls for Medvedev to give his victory speech on the same morning as the polls open have so far gone unanswered. *If you even have to ask whether or not this is serious, you need to work on your sense of tragic political satire.