Law of the Week: Voting on constitutional amendments begins

Week-ending 26 June 2020

Russians Start Voting On Reforms, Multiple Voting Already An Issue

Russians have begun casting ballots in a vote on constitutional reforms that could pave the way for an extension of President Vladimir Putin’s rule by 12 years. Voting stations opened on June 25 in all 14 administrative regions of Russia’s Far Eastern federal district, regional election commissions and administrative bodies said as the seven-day voting period on the measure kicked off. The opening of polling stations for a week is aimed at helping avoid crowds on July 1, the day designated for the nationwide vote, as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. […]. RFE/RL, 25 June 2020

See also:

Coronavirus Frontline Doctors Ordered to Vote on Changes Allowing Putin to Stay in Power

Russian health workers treating coronavirus patients across the country say they are being pressured by their superiors to vote on constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power through 2036. “We simply don’t have a choice,” a doctor at the Syktivkar Republic Infectious Diseases hospital in Russia’s remote northern republic of Komi told The Moscow Times on condition of anonymity. The health worker — whose region was one of the country’s first coronavirus hotspots —  said staff were called in for a meeting last week where it was “made clear” that voting was “obligatory.”  The Moscow Times, 23 June 2020

Voting as an ‘inter-corporate event’ This is the system Russian enterprises plan to use to track employees’ participation in a nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments

Meduza has learned that an electronic system is active in several regions across Russia that will monitor turnout among employees at major enterprises in the country’s upcoming plebiscite on new constitutional amendments (including reforms that could extend Vladimir Putin’s presidency to 2036). Using the website, the executives of various organizations can preload staff rosters and assign a unique QR code to each individual. Meduza, 24 June 2020

‘Some kind of technical error’ Electoral officials can’t seem to explain Moscow’s unusually high online-voter registration numbers

More than one million Muscovites registered for online voting in Russia’s constitutional plebiscite — overall, that’s every seventh voter. According to official statistics, in several precincts the number of voters wanting to cast their ballots online is actually greater than the total number of voters in that area. The strangest numbers have appeared at Moscow’s polling station No. 3395 in the Troitsky Administrative Okrug, where three times the total number of voters in that precinct filed applications to vote online. Meduza spoke with a representative of the territorial electoral commission and the chairman of the local electoral commission in charge of this voting district, and it turns out they themselves don’t understand how this happened. Meduza, 25 June 2020

Police show up to question journalist who voted twice in constitutional plebiscite

On the morning of June 26, police arrived at the home of Pavel Lobkov, a journalist for the independent television station Dozhd, claiming they needed to question him. Lobkov reported the police’s arrival to the rights organization “Apologia Protesta.”Lobkov has refused to let the police in until his lawyer arrives, Dozhd reports. “I’m waiting for a lawyer, the police are outside the door, I’m still home. They said that [they are here] to collect a statement from me,” the journalist told MBKh Media. Meduza, 26 June 2020

‘It looks like a gameshow’: Russia’s pseudo-vote on Putin’s term limits

The people of Moscow received text messages this week telling them they had been registered to win “millions of prizes”. The catch? They have to vote on constitutional amendments that include allowing Vladimir Putin to remain in the Kremlin potentially until 2036. Organisers of Russia’s pseudo-referendum to amend the constitution – originally scheduled for 22 April but delayed owing to the coronavirus outbreak – appear to be making up the rules as they go along. The Guardian, 26 June 2020

Leave a Reply