Vladimir Putin’s re-election campaign has reportedly launched a project codenamed “Megapolis,” designed to boost turnout in Russia’s biggest cities. According to the newspaper Kommersant, officials in the ruling political party United Russia are being tasked with recruiting voters.
The higher the individual’s status in the party, the more voters that person is expected to bring to the polls. According to Kommersant’s sources, a deputy in a local city council might be required to produce passport information proving that they recruited 20 voters, whereas a deputy in a legislative assembly would be responsible for bringing 50 voters to the polls.
Why mobilize United Russia officials to boost turnout?
If journalists and analysts have said one thing consistently about the 2018 presidential election, it’s that the Kremlin has insisted on high turnout that’s supposed to validate Putin’s fourth term in office (extending what has already been roughly 18 years of political dominance).
The goal is reportedly “70/70”: 70 percent turnout, with 70 percent of all votes going to Putin. In the 2016 legislative elections, United Russia adopted a “one plus ten” scheme, where every party member was asked to recruit another 10 voters.