Rule #1 of rigging an election: make sure the cameras aren't rolling.

An election official at a polling booth in Russia over the weekend ignored that rule when she appeared to take a handful of ballot papers and stuff them into a ballot box.

President Vladimir Putin was voted back to power with 54 per cent of the vote, but CCTV footage of the alleged corruption could overshadow the result.

In the footage, one woman sitting behind a desk shuffles papers before pulling a stack of ballot forms from the bottom and casually walking towards the box.


Another woman stands watch as she stuffs them inside the box then returns to her seat.

The Central Election Commission has launched an official investigation in to the incident.

It's not the first time Putin's faithful have been accused of doing the wrong thing. During the 2012 elections, which his United Russia party won by a landslide, corruption allegations were an ongoing talking point.

A Guardian reporter following the election wrote at the time: "Two women hover over a ballot box in the industrial Russian city of Cherepovets, stuffing in ballot after ballot.

"On the streets of Moscow, an independent election monitor armed with an iPhone trails a van full of 'carousel' voters - people bussed from polling site to polling site in order to cast multiple votes for Vladimir Putin.

"Putin quickly claimed victory, waiting until just over 20 per cent of votes were counted, but his opponents just as quickly cried foul, armed with reels of evidence of alleged fraud. They uploaded them by the thousands to their Twitter accounts and LiveJournal blogs, helping the indignation go viral."

Foul play was at work earlier in the election when Mikhail Kasyanov, the leader of the PARNAS opposition party, was secretly filmed sharing a bed with a female associate.

Last year, Boris Nemtsov, a vocal critic of Putin's authoritarian style, was murdered close to the Kremlin. He was shot in the back several times while crossing the Bolshoy Moskvorestsky Bridge in Moscow.

A journalist said Nemtsov was preparing a report critical of the government when he was shot and killed.

Putin's power is undisputed, but it could grow further. The Telegraph reports he could soon have the backing of a newly-formed KGB.

According to the report, Russia is planning a shake-up of existing security forces. It would see the State Security Ministry, the Federal Security Service and the State Guard Service combine to assume a position previously held by the feared secret police service.

Putin joined the KGB in 1975 and worked undercover in the late 1980s.

Vote counting is continuing in Russia but preliminary results suggest the United Russia party will hold 343 out of 450 seats on offer, a jump of 109 seats on the last election.