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Percentage of Russians who vote in elections hits 17-year low, VTsIOM reports

Source: RBC

The share of Russian citizens who vote in elections has reached a 17-year low, writes RBC, citing a survey conducted by the state-owned Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM).

Whereas in 2004, 55 percent of survey respondents said that they had participated in various elections, this number declined steadily in subsequent years. As of July 2021, this figure stands at 22 percent.

In addition, 45 percent of survey respondents said they have never participated in political life. For comparison, this figure was even higher in 2006 and 2011 (52 percent and 61 percent, respectively) and at its lowest in 2004 and 2007 (32 percent and 39 percent, respectively).

The number of people who conduct election campaigns has also declined over the past 17 years (from 8 percent to 6 percent), as has the share of people who take part in rallies and pickets (from 5 percent to 3 percent). That said, the percentage of people who participate in collective petitions has grown (from 4 percent to 8 percent) and the number of people who collect aid for people in difficult situations has more than doubled (from 9 percent to 20 percent).

The July 2021 survey respondents most often attributed their non-participation in political life to a lack of time (28 percent), the opinion that only professionals should handle politics (20 percent), and trust in the president (19 percent). In addition, 16 percent of respondents — the lowest percentage since 2007 — said that their participation in politics wouldn’t change anything 

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