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Sep 17, 2021
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Attention heading: how will the single voting day go

More than 96 thousand polling stations will open on September 17 as part of a single voting day throughout Russia and beyond. On the eve, Vladimir Putin called on Russians to elect deputies “who will work in the interests of our people and every citizen.”… The president’s address was published on the Kremlin website. In it, the head of state also recalled the new powers of the State Duma and the importance of interaction between the executive and legislative branches of government. Earlier, the results of preparations for the three-day EDG were summed up in the CEC, and on Thursday a Situation Center has opened in the Public Chamber – from Friday to Sunday it will observe the elections around the clock… The chamber signed agreements with 37 civil society organizations for the selection and training of citizens who will monitor the vote.

Final stage

In a video message posted on the Kremlin website, the president urged Russians to come to polling stations from September 17 to 19.… He stressed that the updated Constitution gave the State Duma the authority to approve the candidacy of the head of the cabinet, deputy prime ministers and federal ministers. “I’ll say it bluntly: a lot will depend on the constructive, working interaction of the legislative and executive authorities in the future,” added Vladimir Putin

“The modern world is complex. We see how rapidly, sometimes unpredictably, it changes. This, of course, creates new challenges, but it also opens up the widest opportunities for us. AND in order to respond to these challenges, to effectively use new perspectives, coordinated work of the state, society and citizens is required. We need a strong and authoritative parliament for the deputies of the newly elected Duma to act in the interests of Russia and our people, to work for the people… To be able to rely on them as patriots of Russia, ready to resolutely and consistently ensure national interests in all spheres, ”the leader of the country noted.

Photo: RIA Novosti / Alexander Wilf.

He expressed hope for a “responsible, balanced, patriotic civic position” of citizens… Vladimir Putin also added that Russians will have to elect deputies who will work in the interests of the whole people and every citizen of the country… The president himself, by the way, will vote via the Internet. Some members of the government will also do this.

Elections to the State Duma of the eighth convocation are scheduled for a single voting day on September 19, 2021. Due to the pandemic they will be held over three days – September 17, 18 and 19 from 8 to 20 hours local time… Also, the EDG should hold direct elections for the heads of nine constituent entities of the Russian Federation (in three more regions, deputies of legislative assemblies will elect the highest administrative persons) and 39 regional parliaments.

The results of preparations for a single voting day on September 15 were summed up by the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova… During her speech, she said that this EDG is “one of the most intense” in recent years… The head of the CEC noted that more than 108 million people will be included in the voter lists in Russia… 2.8 million will vote remotely.

Photo: Izvestia / Pavel Volkov

According to her, during the three days of voting over 96 thousand polling stations will operate… At the same time, 348 points in 144 countries will open abroad. She also reminded about the change in the order of video surveillance at these elections. Video recording within 72 hours will cover 96% of polling stations, and everyone can watch the voting process at various venues… At the same time, many Western countries are very far from the standards that are applied in Russia, the head of the CEC added.

The Russian electoral system is ready for a single voting day, said Alena Bulgakova, executive director of the Independent Public Monitoring Association, in a conversation with Izvestia.

From the side of civil society we saw how the CEC was preparing. For our part, we have been actively training observers for the past six months.… Despite individual attempts to interfere and provoke some organizations and citizens, we approached the voting process with dignity. Obviously, sanitary safety will be ensured, the supervisory process will be clearly built, the system for counteracting outside influence will be debugged, ” Bulgakova emphasized.

Photo: RIA Novosti / Alexey Maishev

Indeed, not without provocations. So, on September 16, the day before the start of voting in the Russian Federation, the European Parliament made a decision on its readiness not to recognize its results.

It was rather strange to hear from Western institutions about the non-recognition of those elections that had not yet taken place. When the fact has not yet happened, and assessments are already being given, then people either show complete incompetence or deliberately provoke– said Dmitry Novikov, first deputy chairman of the Duma committee on international affairs, in a conversation with Izvestia.

Supervisory process

On September 16, a Situation Center for monitoring observance of citizens’ electoral rights during the EDG was opened at the Public Chamber (OP). This structure will carry out round-the-clock observation of the voting process throughout all three election days.… The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Central Election Commission.

“We do not have closer contacts in this election campaign than with the Public Chamber. In fact, the OP performs an enormous task to provide public observation for everything that election commissions do, ”said Nikolai Bulaev, deputy chairman of the CEC during his speech.

He recalled that the video surveillance scheme, which will be used in these elections, testifies to the openness of the Russian electoral system. “We have nothing to hide,” added Bulaev.

Photo: TASS / AP / Sergei Rusanov

The participants in the opening ceremony of the Situation Center also said that more than 40 volunteers will receive information on the voting progress from public observers in real time at polling stations. Moreover, they will process messages that may come through the hotline and the Public Observer mobile application… As part of the work of the center, briefings are scheduled during all three voting days.

The Secretary of the Public Chamber, Lidia Mikheeva, in a conversation with Izvestia, stressed that in order to ensure the cleanliness of the elections, the chamber interacted with a large number of participants in the electoral process.

– We have signed agreements with 37 public organizations on the selection and training of citizens who will observe the voting. In addition, we interact with parties – 11 agreements were signed on the organization of observation, – said Mikheeva.

Photo: RIA Novosti / Denis Abramov

Political parties will also represent their observers. In “United Russia”, for example, 95 thousand people are going to be sent to the elections. “Fair Russia – For Truth” trained about 120 thousand people, and the Liberal Democratic Party announced its intention to provide 40 thousand party representatives. The leadership of the Communist Party in September announced about 300 thousand trained observers.

The State Duma’s term of office is five years. On a single day of voting, elections of deputies of the State Duma of the VIII convocation will be held. 450 representatives are elected to the lower house of parliament through a mixed system, in which one half is determined by party lists and the other by single-mandate constituencies. Thus, voters will be given two ballots. In one of them, 14 parties will be represented in the order determined by the drawing of lots in the Central Election Commission, and in the other – the names of single-mandate candidates.

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The drawing ceremony took place at the Central Election Commission in August. 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”, which got the fifth position in the list, considers its serial number symbolic because of the federal “five”, which leads the party to the elections.

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). Closing the list were Civic Platform (11), Green Alternative (12), Rodina (13) and the Party of Pensioners (14).

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