Sep 15, 2021
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A choice for everyone: how Russia prepares for a single voting day

The Russian electoral system is fully prepared for the holding of a single voting day (UED). This was announced to Izvestia in the Federation Council… They are sure that the elections will take place at a highly organized level, and attempts by a number of Western countries and some citizens to influence the process will not be able to hinder the free expression of the will of Russians. The EDG will be held from 17 to 19 September, its result will be the renewal of the State Duma, the election of the heads of 12 regions and almost four dozen regional parliaments… Several hundred thousand observers will monitor the purity of the process.

Inside and outside

The renewal of the State Duma, the governor’s corps and regional parliaments in a number of subjects will be the result of the EDG, which will be held from 17 to 19 September. Russians will be able to vote not only personally by visiting polling stations, but also remotely. This option will be available to residents of seven regions. Among them are Moscow, Sevastopol, Kursk, Yaroslavl, Rostov, Murmansk and Nizhny Novgorod regions… According to the CEC, about 10 million voters in these regions have a confirmed account in public services, without which it will not be possible to vote via the Internet. Reception of applications for remote electronic voting was opened on August 2 and ended on September 13

Russians can also express their will abroad. For this, 348 polling stations will be involved, plus seven more – on the territory of Baikonur… As follows from the official data of the CEC, the largest number of foreign polling stations will open in Moldova (30), Germany (16) and Israel (13). Ten sites will operate in South Ossetia, nine each in Abkhazia, Belarus and Estonia, seven in the United States. Six voting points each will open in Armenia, Kazakhstan, China and Tajikistan. In Spain, France and Turkmenistan, compatriots will be able to use five sites.

The process of preparing for the elections was accompanied by the fixation of external interference. The influence of foreign countries on the internal political processes in Russia was reported in the Central Election Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Duma and the Federation Council. The presidential press secretary also spoke about the risk of outside interference in the election campaign… “There is no doubt that they will try to interfere in the elections. Thank God, the system is sufficiently debugged from the point of view of mechanisms that “hedge” these risks, speaking in economic terms, ”Dmitry Peskov emphasized.

One of the manifestations of interference in the elections, the head of the Human Rights Council under the President, Valery Fadeev, called the refusal of the OSCE / ODIHR to come to the vote. In an interview with Izvestia, he noted that “they portray the case as if these elections would be unfair and in fact illegitimate.”

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The organization announced on 4 August that the OSCE would not send its observers to the elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation. This is due to the fact that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian authorities have reduced the permissible number of experts from 500 to 60. As explained by OSCE PA President Margareta Sederfelt, this limitation will prevent the organization “from doing its job with due diligence and efficiency.”

The stability of the Russian electoral system to all kinds of interference in an interview with Izvestia was noted by the chairman of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova… “We take this seriously, but calmly and are ready to oppose them,” added the head of the CEC.

In other words, no matter who and no matter how he tries to interfere with the free expression of the will of the Russians, the Duma elections will be held at the set time and at a highly organized level, expressed confidence in the Federation Council

– We see all the attempts of Western countries and some Russians who have embarked on the path of betraying the interests of the country. We will stop all their illegal actions in time. They look very closely at the preparation and conduct of our elections, they constantly make stuffing and fakes. This is biased behavior that will be punished within the framework of the law., – said Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council committee for international affairs, in a conversation with Izvestia.

Under control

Party and public observers have already prepared to control the voting. As the secretary of the Public Chamber (OP) of the Russian Federation, Lidiya Mikheeva, told Izvestia, the organization instructed about 250 thousand people… “Everyone who undergoes training with us will be able to choose for themselves whether they will be observers from parties or receive a mandate from the public chamber of the region,” Mikheeva noted.

One of the innovations of these elections will be changing the order of video surveillance. In July, the Central Election Commission reported that the records from the polling stations will be available only on the service portal.… All political parties, their regional branches and candidates in single-mandate constituencies, election commissions, as well as public observation centers in the constituent entities, where anyone who has passed the necessary training can participate, will watch the voting process. Also, access to the video broadcast will be given to ombudsmen in the federal center, regions and the HRC under the President of the Russian Federation.

The CEC explained this format not only by cost savings. So, Ella Pamfilova noted that the new procedure will solve the main problem – “providing targeted, qualified, subject and total video surveillance”

Of particular importance is the fact that the elections are being held in a pandemic. The political forces emphasize a responsible attitude to the monitoring process. At the initiative of United Russia, several parties signed an agreement “For Safe Elections”, which also includes ensuring sanitary safety during voting.… “All participants in the pre-election race of candidates, agitators, employees of election headquarters should be provided with personal protective equipment, strictly comply with the requirements of the regional authorities and the sanitary authorities of the Russian Federation,” urged the Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia Andrei Turchak. Also, all participants were recommended to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

Election process

It’s obvious that the central event of the EDG will be the Duma elections. On August 16, the Central Election Commission allocated seats for political parties in the ballot… All 14 political forces took part in the drawing ceremony, the lists of which were checked.

It should be noted that according to the results of the distribution of seats, all parliamentary associations were in the first half of the bulletin… The representative of the Communist Party, for example, pulled out the first issue. The Liberal Democratic Party is in third place, and “Fair Russia – For the truth” – in sixth. “United Russia” got the fifth number on the list. The Greens took the second position, the New People became the fourth. The bottom half of the list was completely occupied by non-parliamentary parties: Yabloko (7), the Party of Growth (8), the Party of Freedom and Justice (9), and the Communists of Russia (10). The list was closed by Civic Platform (11), Green Alternative (12), Rodina (13) and the Party of Pensioners (14).

Sociologists say that not all of the political parties have the opportunity to get into the Duma of the VIII convocation. According to the VTsIOM forecast, only five political forces can overcome the 5% barrier: United Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Liberal Democratic Party, A Just Russia – For the Truth and New People.

In some regions, the heads of the subjects will also be elected… Direct voting will be made by residents of the Khabarovsk Territory, Mordovia, Tuva, Chechnya, as well as Belgorod, Penza, Ulyanovsk, Tula and Tver regions. A parliamentary vote will determine the leaders of Dagestan, North Ossetia and Karachay-Cherkessia. At the same time, experts believe that for the current heads and interim leaders of all these entities, the election results will be successful. Political scientist Yevgeny Suchkov, in a conversation with Izvestia, noted that in most regions where elections are held, there is no “potential for protest voting.”

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Residents of almost 40 regions will elect deputies of regional parliaments. Among such subjects are Adygea, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Karelia, Mordovia, Chechnya, Chuvashia, as well as Altai, Kamchatka, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Primorsky and Stavropol Territories. In addition, the composition of local legislative assemblies will be determined in the Amur, Astrakhan, Vologda, Kaliningrad, Kirov, Kursk, Leningrad, Lipetsk, Moscow, Murmansk, Omsk, Novgorod and Nizhny Novgorod regions. This procedure will also affect the Orenburg, Oryol, Pskov, Samara, Sverdlovsk, Tambov, Tver, Tomsk, Tyumen regions, as well as St. Petersburg, Jewish Autonomous Region, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Chukotka Autonomous District.

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