President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill allowing elections to be held within days. The corresponding document has been published on the official portal of legal information.
According to the document, now voting in elections and referendums will be able to take place for no more than three days. The decision on the need for such a vote will be taken by the election commission organizing the election or referendum. The adopted law allows observers at elections and referenda only to those who have the right to participate in elections in this region, and allows political parties to terminate early the powers of voting members of commissions.
On July 14, on the eve of the second reading of the amendments to the bill, allowing voting within a few days, more than 630 members of precinct election commissions signed an appeal to the Central Election Commission, the State Duma and the Federation Council, urging them to abandon the idea of multi-day voting and prohibit this practice by law. According to the authors of the appeal, the previous election procedure always allowed voters to vote within one day and without massive queues, since the average turnout never exceeded 41%.
"Even one day of voting is hard work of PEC members and observers, which begins before eight in the morning and ends at night with the counting of votes and summing up the results," the letter says. The authors note that PEC members spent most of the time during the all-Russian vote waiting for voters, and many days of voting will worsen the conditions for "already exhausting work", especially since the payment in the commissions does not increase proportionally. Members of election commissions in a number of regions said they received as much work in the all-Russian vote in a week as in the one-day presidential elections in 2018, and intend to withdraw from the commissions.
The leader of the Fair Russia party, Sergei Mironov, said that if the amendments are adopted, any elections will be held with scandals, and their legitimacy will always be questioned. However, the protest of Fair Russia and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation did not prevent the adoption of the amendments in the third reading. At the same time, the Liberal Democratic Party, which had previously also opposed the amendments, changed its position, and the leader of the party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said that the voter "does not go to the polls" in a one-day voting.