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Election official says multiple voting attempts overseas detected, vows crackdown

The databases on the polls abroad include about 250,000 people, according to official data

MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. Deputy Chairperson of the Russian Central Election Commission Nikolai Bulaev reported that attempts to vote multiple times at voting stations abroad during the nationwide vote on the constitutional amendments were intentional and deliberate, and all of them will be exposed.

"The first issue that we would like to clarify our position on, is the incidence of multiple voting abroad by the citizens who reported it. Ms. Ilyinskaya claimed to do so, she voted in Israel, and another gentleman whose name we don’t know yet, he voted in the UK," the official said at the Commission’s information center on Monday.

He recalled that the Russian legislation allows to cast a vote in person abroad. "This procedure is meant for conscientious people and not for criminal actions. In Israel we have a premeditated quadruple voting by a group of people. This is article 142 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation," the deputy chairman added.

He noted that "the state does not create a system which could be used by the state itself in order to distort the results of the vote." "But, as we can see, any system created has areas which enable breaches of the rules by committing a crime. Those who attempt to violate the law understand that they are committing a crime," stressed the official.

He noted that the databases on the polls abroad are not very large, there are about 250,000 people. "We collated multimillion lists before. We will have an opportunity to compare who decided to vote multiple times abroad and who of those used the remote electronic voting. All cases will be detected," the official promised.

About the vote

The nationwide vote to amend the Russian Constitution started on June 25 in all regions of Russia. The primary day to vote according to the decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin is July 1, but Russians can also cast their ballots during the week of June 25-30.

This is done to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection.

According to the directive of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, the polls will be open from June 25 to July 1 from 8 am to 8 pm local time in all Russian regions, the vote count will take place after 8 pm local time on July 1 for all seven days of voting.

In addition to voting before the primary date (June 25-30), constituents can also cast ballots outside of polling stations (including outdoor areas), use contactless voting at home, or remote electronic voting in Moscow and the Nizhny Novgorod Region, as well cast ballots at one’s place of residence using the Mobile Voter application.