Update: Russia's State Duma has passed the amendment allowing remote voting during elections and referenda. In addition to letting Russian voters cast their ballot by mail or via the Internet, elections candidates will now be allowed to collect voter signatures through the government services portal “Gosuslug.”
Federal lawmakers in Russia’s State Duma have submitted draft legislation that would allow people to vote in elections and referenda by mail and through the Internet, United Russia deputy Dmitry Vyatkin confirmed to the news agency RIA Novosti.
The bill would empower Russia’s Central Election Commission to determine when remote voting is necessary. Vyatkin says the legislation would not enable remote voting for Russia’s pending plebiscite on constitutional amendments. The State Duma is expected to review the initiative immediately.
At the time of this writing, the draft legislation’s text was still unavailable at the State Duma’s online portal.
A day before Vyatkin’s announcement, the investigative news website Proekt reported that the Putin administration has drafted amendments to Russia’s voting laws that would permit voting from home while under quarantine. The same legislation would also supposedly contain clauses allowing snap elections for parliament and president.
Russian opposition activists have already denounced the initiative, arguing that remote voting is a scheme by the Putin administration to conceal the voting process from the public and falsify election results.