Federation Council endorses bill to extend remote electronic voting to all elections in Russia
MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) - The Federation Council on Friday passed a bill to establish the fundamental principles and parameters of remote electronic voting which will be uniform for all elections and referenda in Russia.
"We are talking about the following: to entrust the central election commissions in the regions with the actual regulation of the introduction of certain remote electronic voting systems," Dmitry Vyatkin, a State Duma deputy from the United Russia party and one of the authors of the document, told Interfax earlier.
"Now remote electronic voting is being governed by provisional laws," he said.
"The rules on the possibility of using remote electronic voting will follow the entry into force of the proposed provisions already in the basic law, that is, 67-FZ," the deputy said.
"The experience of using remote electronic voting in the elections in 2019-2021 as an experiment points to the need to identify the fundamental principles and parameters of this type of voting which will be unified for all elections and referenda in the Russian Federation," the explanatory note said.
The bill stipulates that remote electronic voting will be conducted using the Vybory state automated system as well as other state information systems which have been certified and meet the requirements set forth by the Russian Central Election Commission.
The bill implies that the identification, authentication and confirmation of identity, as well as the anonymization of the results of the expression of will, their encryption during the voting and decryption after its completion are obligatory.
According to the bill, after an expression of will by a voter, a change of will (repeated expression of will) is not allowed.
A voter who has access to remote electronic voting has no right to receive a ballot at a polling station.
Additionally, the bill establishes that a Russian citizen who used to hold a post of the top official of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation, and was removed from that post by the Russian president, shall not be nominated as a candidate for that post in any constituent entity of the Russian Federation within five years since the presidential decree on his removal took effect.
The bill implies that the Russian Justice Ministry will maintain the unified registry of information on individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent or those affiliated with individuals designated as a foreign agent.
It is also stipulated that if campaign materials contain a statement of an individual added to the list of individuals designated as a foreign agent or a statement by an individual with information about him included in the foreign-agent media register, the given statement should be preceded by the information that it is the statement of such an individual. This information must be clearly visible (clearly distinguishable by ear) and occupy at least 15% of the area (volume) of the campaign material.
The bill expands the list of persons who have no right to be elected. It includes those convicted of committing extremist crimes, whose convictions have been expunged or cleared, until five years have passed from the date of the expunging or clearing of their criminal record.
Also, according to the bill, the list will include those sentenced to a prison term for coercion to sexual acts committed against a minor, or for a sexual intercourse with a person under 16, as well as those sentenced to a prison term for committing these crimes, whose convictions were removed from their criminal record or expunged until five years have passed from the date of removal or expunction.
Also, those sentenced to a term in jail for crimes, the commission of which currently does not allow one to be elected (for example, kidnapping, use of slave labor, falsification of electoral documents or the results of voting, robbery, violence against a law enforcement officer, etc.), if the conviction for these crimes is removed or expunged, the individual will not be able to be elected until five years have passed from the date of removal or expunction of their criminal record.