Russia continues to experiment with the use of the election system electronic voting. Theoretically, this mechanism may be involved in September in all regions of the country who want to participate in the process of introducing new technology. The first phase of the experiment, held on the last Moscow city Duma elections, has drawn criticism from the opposition. However, the authorities claim that the system will be improved.
More than half of the voters in Russia are ready to participate in the electronic voting. This is evidenced by the results of a study conducted by the Center for political conjuncture (TSPK) together with VTSIOM.
To the greatest extent the idea of remote voting to support young people: 71% of respondents aged 18 to 24 years and 51% aged 25 to 34 years.
At the same time, as shown by the same study, 86% of Russians are poorly informed about the fact that they have the opportunity to participate in elections through the Internet or mail.
This option appeared in Russia on may 23, after President Vladimir Putin signed the law on amendments to the electoral law of the country.
of How will this work?
The President signed a law introduces the concept of “remote electronic voting” as voting without the use of a newsletter produced on paper, using special software.
To participate in electronic voting, voters should apply through the state services portal, MFC or through territorial and precinct commissions, if the opportunity provided by the CEC.
Electronic voting, and postal voting may be used in the elections of local self-government elections at the Federal level, as well as referendums in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. Use of this method of voting can also be set by the Central election Commission (CEC).
In addition, the act provides for the collection of signatures through a single portal of public and municipal services. In this way politicians will be able to collect up to half of the required for registration in the elections of the signatures.
Until the widespread introduction of e-voting of the question. The law States that this procedure is experimental.
This method of expression of the citizens will be tested in a single day of voting on 13 September. The regions themselves will decide whether to accept them participate in this experiment. Local authorities, after determining the date of the vote will have to submit a proposal to the CEC.
While it is safe to say that the opportunity to vote via the Internet will be the inhabitants of the capital.
“we Have today one offer��s from Moscow, and we expect the regions and wanting to participate, suggestions and adequate protection to the CEC proposals. It will be important to see who’s ready, who offers what, and to what extent you can use the electronic remote voting in the future” — said the Deputy Chairman of the Central electoral Commission Nikolay Bulaev.
However, even if the regional authorities will decide on the conduct of electronic voting, this does not mean that citizens will be required to use it. As noted in the commentary for “Газеты.Ru” the author of the bill, state Duma Deputy from the faction “United Russia” Irina White, electronic voting remains voluntary and an alternative mechanism of participation in the elections.
“And undoubtedly extends to the exercise of suffrage. For a voter is entitled to choose either option of voting”, — she said.
According to VTSIOM and the CPC, the ability to choose the method of voting, only 23% of Russians would prefer to vote via the Internet. Another 2% would vote through the mail. But the traditional method of voting in areas using paper ballots was closer to 69% of Russians.
the whether to Trust electronic voting?
The survey showed that while the Russians do not much trust of the government experiment. Due to technical difficulties refuse to take part in online voting, only 25% of respondents: they do not have either the necessary e-voting infrastructure — phone, computer, or Internet or no skills to use them.
Other respondents simply don’t trust the new technology.
28% of Russians doubt the reliability of electronic voting, another 21% worry about maintaining the secrecy of the vote. And 60% of citizens fear of deliberate manipulation and fraud.
As noted in conversation with “Газетой.Ru” a member of the Federal Political Committee of the party “the Apple” Elena Dubrovin, e-voting should be administered only in the case when there is a high level of confidence in the institution of elections in principle.
“Installed since 2012, the web cameras at the polling stations at every election record a huge amount of ballot box stuffing, falsifications. And this in the presence of observers cynically and with impunity, make the members of precinct election commissions, says Dubrovin, the former between 1999 and 2016 a member of the CEC with the right to vote. — What can you expect from voting entirely hidden from public observation? In our country, the credibility of the elections is so low that the introduction of e-voting is just a mockery of elections.”
Of skepticism about electronic voting adds to the experience of the first phase of the experiment, which is about��ate during the September elections to the Moscow city Duma. Three of 45 single-member districts, voters were able to cast their vote online.
In the 30th electoral district voting results on the “electronic land” have changed the outcome of the elections that eventually brought to trial.
Politician Roman Juneman won in precincts where the voting was conducted in a traditional way, receiving 9106 votes. His closest rival — supported by the municipality, the rector of the Institute of Russian language Margarita Rusetskaya scored 8525 votes.
However, electronic voting has completely changed the balance in favor Ruseckas. “Electronic site” it was supported almost 2.5 times more voters than Onemana. The final gap was 84 votes in favor Ruseckas.
The defeated candidate attempted to contest the election results in court, demanding to cancel the results of voting on electronic polling station. Chertanovo district court dismissed his complaint. An appeal against this decision was filed in the Moscow city court. However, as noted in conversation with “Газетой.Ru” he Juneman, there it is “frozen”.
Claimant’s position is that electronic voting in its case, it has distorted the will of citizens.
In his statement, he indicates that on the day of voting system repeatedly malfunctioned, and people, including those who wanted to vote for him, are unable to do it. Also, Oneman indicates a conflict of interest: the electronic voting system not controlled by the system of election commissions, and controlled city hall, the Department of information technology.
At the new stage of the experiment, this contradiction was not eliminated, as indicated by Yelena Dubrovin: “the Portal of public services is a government system created for the execution of functional competencies of the Executive authorities and local self-government. Its use and to collect signatures for voting unlawful.”
Despite these issues and the ongoing trial, Irina Belykh believes the experience in the elections to the Moscow city Duma successful.
“Run-processing equipment, developed a legal model of remote voting, the proposed decision on the adjustment of the order of organizing and conducting a vote after conducting tests, including professional, turnout 92.8% of applicants for participation in electronic voting,” she said.
According to White, the new phase of the experiment with the electronic voting system will continue to evolve:
“the Observers will be asked a series of additional mechanisms, call those voters who applied for remote voting; in the system of real-time observers will be able to see information on all the transit��papers.
For the week will be displayed an electronic list of voters. Wishing even on voting day to vote is traditionally a voter will be removed first from the electronic register will then have a paper ballot that will eliminate the possibility of double voting.
E-newsletter will now “live” in 15 minutes, and all the time before the end of voting (on the device the voter); the risks of failures in equipment are now minimized because it will be duplicated, I detail told about it in the report at the plenary session of the state Duma. Takes into account all comments experts, observers, professionals-programmers”.
Elena Dubrovin believes that participation in this kind of voting should be abandoned.
“what else is possible here? Even the unlikely different results in neighboring areas with electronic voting and without him was not taken into account, and this is the exact signal that is not purely. Only complaints voters may indicate abuse, but they none are not taken into account and virtually unprovable”.
Roman Juneman, in turn, said that his team is developing special methodology which will be taught and the other opposition candidates.
“I can’t disclose the details of this plan. But its meaning is to make the introduction of electronic voting for the authorities most expensive in all senses and ineffective,” — said the politician “Газете.Ru”.