İrem UZUN -TDO- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on amending Russia’s election legislation and allowing remote online vote at a federal level. The new law will allow Russians to vote electronically or by mail in future polls, Kremlin said in an official statement.
In an interview, the Central Election Commission Chief Ella Pamfilova said remote electronic voting on constitutional changes that could greatly extend Russian President Vladimir Putin's rule will be used in three or four regions but not rolled out nationwide. Ella Pamfilova said initial trials and testing would be needed before electronic balloting. "Remote voting will not be carried out on a national scale. We are talking about no more than three or four regions," she added.
The new law will not apply to the planned national vote on proposed constitutional amendments, including a provision that would allow Putin to seek two more terms as president. That vote was set for April 22 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Russian media, the new date for the election will likely be June 24.
Supporters of the new law say it will help contain the spread of the new coronavirus, since they will no longer be required to go to polling places. On the other hand, opponents argue the electronic system will be easier to manipulate and will make it hard for independent observers to notice irregularities.