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Moscow mayoral candidate suggests not using absentee ballots

June 28, 2013, 11:15 UTC+3

Sobyanin claims Muscovites if they wish to vote can reach the residence place from any part of the city without difficulties

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Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has decided to get rid of the most scandal election things - the use of absentee ballots and additional lists. On Thursday he proposed changes to the Moscow election legislation. The Moscow election commission, before the September 8 elections, pledges to substantially cut the list of voters who can vote at other polling stations, but not at their residence places.

Sobyanin stated he opposed the use of absentee ballots, the Vechernyaya Moskva writes. According to him, Moscow is a rather compact city. So, Muscovites if they wish to vote can reach the residence place from any part of the city without difficulties. On the other hand, the use of absentee ballots leads to accusations against authorities of vote rigging and really may result in fraud.

The RBK Daily reminds that most complaints against the 2011 Duma elections were about absentee ballot voting. In regions, where the number of voters with absentee ballots was higher, the winning United Russia party gained more votes. The number of organizations with a round-the-clock work cycle, aside from various plants and factories, included even shopping centres, universities and cemeteries.

Central Election Commission member Maya Grishina explained to the Kommersant that the law changes would come into force later, but not by the next September elections. However, Sobyanin's press service said that despite the fact, the Moscow election commission might reduce the categories “tens of times”.

The newspaper cited the head of the interregional association of voters, Andrei Buzin, as saying that Sergei Sobyanin would do well without absentee ballots. He has "an empire of mass media" already created by Luzhkov and also the "municipal filter" removing those unwanted. In the expert's view, the acting mayor's ideas do not influence whether there will be a second round or not. Sobyanin will just gain 58 percent, but not 70 percent, as Luzhkov did formerly.

Political analyst Alexei Makarkin believes Mikhail Prokhorov's refusal to run for the elections gives almost the 100-precent chance to Sobyanin to win. And therefore, any tricks are not needed. "He may think about his image."

The Moskovsky Komsomolets notes it is impossible to abolish absentee ballots in federal elections, as people, in accordance with their constitutional rights, move from one region to another. Sobyanin mentioned it as well.

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