Next month when holding a nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments, Russian election officials will keep polls open for a full week
Vladimir Putin has scheduled a plebiscite on constitutional amendments on April 22. But how does Russia expect to hold a nationwide vote in the next month, as much of the world grinds to a halt to slow the spread of coronavirus in order to keep their healthcare systems from being overwhelmed by sick people? On Friday, federal election officials indicated that the solution will rely on a mix of home voting and extended time for voting. In fact, the Central Election Commission has now permitted regional officials to keep the polls open for an entire week before April 22, extending the ballot window from three to seven days.
The extended timeline and expansion of qualifications for home ballots mean that this form of voting could double or more in next month’s plebiscite, election monitor and “Golos” co-chair Grigory Melkonyants recently told Vedomosti.
In April, the Russian authorities will stage a nationwide vote on a series of constitutional amendments that have already passed the federal legislature and regional assemblies. One of the amendments will “zero out” Vladimir Putin’s term clock, potentially prolonging his presidency to 2036. Russians will vote on a single question: “Do you approve of the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation?”