The days of voting in the State Duma of the Russian Federation are approaching. At the same time, regional and municipal elections will be held in many constituent entities of the Russian Federation. This means that it is time to remind voters living abroad how and when they can fulfill their civic duty.
This year, voting will last three days – 17, 18 and 19th of September. Another innovation this year is that people will have the opportunity to vote remotely, through the State Services website (so, they will be able to vote from anywhere in the world). To do this, you must submit an application to the Central Election Commission through the website before September 13. However, not everyone will be able to vote through the State Services website, but only those who have a residence permit in the following regions of Russia: Kursk, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov and Yaroslavl regions, Moscow and Sevastopol.
How to vote for those who live abroad (or will be abroad during the voting), but do not have a residence permit in the above regions? In this case, the citizen will need to visit the embassy or consulate. He will just need to have an international passport with him. Pre-registration is not required.
It is worth noting, however, that at the embassy you will have the opportunity to vote only for the candidate of the district to which the polling station is tied. More information about the attached constituencies can be found on the “Vote Abroad” website (there you can also find the address of the embassy, voting time and other necessary information for voting at the selected polling station).
Who to vote for?
You can find the list of candidates on the official website of the CEC of the Russian Federation. At the address “registration” you will find your polling station. On the page that opens, under the map with the location of your PEC (precinct election commission), the nearest election campaigns in which you can take part will be shown. First, click on “Election of deputies of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the eighth convocation”, and then – “Informing about candidates.” There you can get acquainted with all registered candidates and find out who nominated them.
What if the names of the candidates don’t tell you anything and you don’t know who to vote for? In this case, you can use the “Smart Voting” recommendation by downloading the application to your mobile phone. The recommendation will come to your email address a few days before the voting days, when none of the candidates can withdraw their candidacy.
The supporters of the option to boycott the elections and those who constantly insist that everything has already been decided, and their vote will not affect anything, it is worth recalling a few things.
First, according to all recent polls (including official ones), we see that the rating of the “United Russia” party has dropped to a historical minimum (about 28%). So, every vote will be important. There is no doubt that this year’s election results may indeed be very surprising.
Secondly, let’s recall the experience of 2019, when the elections to the Moscow City Duma were held. With the support of Smart Voting, 20 deputies were elected. Yes, many of them were subsequently sided with the ruling party, nevertheless, the Moscow city parliament received several independent candidates and finally became a place for discussion, where inconvenient questions are raised.
Thirdly, if we are talking about voting in embassies, then we must understand that the counting of votes there is carried out quite honestly, with a minimum number of violations.
What else can you do if you do not live in Russia.
To ensure that elections abroad are as fair as possible, you can become a volunteer to conduct exit polls, count the turnout and record violations outside polling stations (you do not need to have any documents and visit the embassy territory here). To join the team of volunteers, you can go to the above-mentioned “Vote Abroad” website and fill out the appropriate form.
In any case, we must understand that the results of these elections depend only on us. And now there is a unique chance to drope on “United Russia”. Whether this opportunity will be used – hope so. The main thing now is not to give up, to participate in the elections and not to forget that it is just the beginning.