Russian citizens and news agencies are closely watching the American elections today, and... participating in them. Virtually, of course. As of noon U.S. Eastern Standard Time, nearly 3,000 Russian "voters" had cast their votes in a Gazeta.ru-sponsored poll. Barack Obama was defeating John McCain in a landslide: 68 to 32 percent. Russian voters also learned promptly about the death of Obama's grandmother, Canadian comedians' prank on Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, former actor and current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's support for John McCain, and Obama winning the first vote recorded today in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. The Russian media overall has praised the openness of the American electoral system.