Voting in Russia’s upcoming elections will take place over the course of three days, from September 11 to 13, announced the head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, according to TASS.
“The unified voting day is September 13, but we propose holding two days of early voting — September 11 and 12,” Pamfilova said during a Central Election Commission meeting.
“This is not our whim, it’s a demand of the times. We are continuing to proceed from the priority that the president has outlined very clearly and never stops repeating: the health and safety of our citizens during any events, including such important ones as elections,” Pamfilova said in her speech, as quoted by Interfax.
Russia’s recent nationwide vote on constitutional amendments was the first test of multi-day voting in the country’s modern history. The main voting day was July 1, while early voting ran from June 25 to June 30. This procedure drew criticism from independent observers, who pointed out that it made it more difficult to ensure transparency in the voting process.
In July 2020, the State Duma approved amendments to Russia’s election law, allowing for any elections to be held over the course of a two to three day period.
Initially, it was assumed that these new changes wouldn’t apply to the elections scheduled for September. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Election Commission was empowered to adjust voting procedures and the voting period for public health reasons.