MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. The total voter turnout to the Russian State Duma election on Friday, the first voting day out of three, stands at 16.95%, the Central Election Commission announced.
Among the highlights of this year’s elections is broad online voting, now available for residents of seven regions, including Moscow. More than 60% of registered online voters have already cast their ballots, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
TASS gathered key events and statistics of the first day of voting.
- A total of 16.85% registered voters cast their ballot on day one (early vote and online voting not included into the tally). The turnout was higher than average in many regions, including 30% in the Volga Area Republic of Tatarstan, almost 34% in Siberia’s Kemerovo Region and about 40% in Siberia’s Republic of Tuva and the North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya.
- More than 60% of those who registered for the online vote have already cast their ballots. The total number of people who plan to vote online is estimated at over 2.6 million, according to the Russian Central Election Commission.
- About 260,000 people in Russia and abroad took part in the early vote. Overall, approximately 19.6 million of Russians have already cast their ballot.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin have cast his ballots online. The Russian leader had to self-isolate in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence after coronavirus cases had been identified in his inner circle. The premier voted from his office in the Russian government.
- Among other prominent Russian politicians and social leaders who have already voted are Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary in the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko, Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergei Naryshkin and LDPR party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
- Cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov, who are currently aboard the International Space Station, have also voted. Dubrov cast his vote through his trustee back on earth - cosmonaut team commander Oleg Kononeko - while Novitsky voted online.
Without violations, but under attack
- No serious violations were reported on day one. Head of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Valery Fadeev said the organization has so far received reports of minor violations, which can be described as "mere trifles." The United Russia party has not recorded any serious electoral irregularities so far, Deputy Secretary of the party's General Council Sergei Perminov said. In his words, over 90% of complaints received by the party’s federal situation center were "nothing but deliberately generated noise."
- At the same time, the online vote system, as well as web pages of the Central Election Commission, the Independent Public Monitoring association and the United Russia party, sustained massive cyberattacks on Friday. Russia’s largest telecom operator Rostelecom said hacker attacks targeting Russia’s online vote systems had no impact on the electoral process.
- Head of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin has instructed to conduct a probe into cyberattacks conducted from abroad on Russian online voting systems
Compliance of western IT giants
- Early on Friday, it became known that US IT giants Apple and Google removed the Navalny app from AppStore and Google Play. On August 20, Russia's telecom watchdog demanded that it be removed, in accordance with a ruling by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office restricting access to resources linked to the Anti-Corruption Foundation (designated in Russia as a foreign agent and an extremist organization).
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Ad Hoc Commission on Protecting State Sovereignty and Preventing Interference in the Domestic Affairs of the Russian Federation Andrei Klimov welcomed the move.
- The companies did not comment on the reports.