Home News Polling stations are closing in Russia’s presidential election

Polling stations are closing in Russia’s presidential election

Polling stations are closing in Russia’s presidential election

Voter turnout in the 2024 election surpassed the previous vote in 2018

More than 73% of Russia’s 112.3 million voters had cast their ballots in the nation’s presidential election by the time polling stations closed on Sunday, Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) said. The turnout in this election is a historical record for modern Russia.

Voting took place over three days, between March 15 and 17, the first time Russia has organized it. Polling stations were open on each of the three days from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time. Voters in 29 of Russia’s 89 regions, including Moscow – the country’s most populous region including the capital – were also able to vote online, in another first.

According to the state’s online voting tracking portal, more than 4.7 million people applied for the right to cast their vote online, and more than 90% eventually did so. The 2024 elections are also the first in which voters in four new Russian regions – Kherson and Zaporozhye, as well as Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – participated.

The highest turnout in polling stations was reported in the regions of Chechnya (96%), Tuva (almost 90%) and the Donetsk People’s Republic (88.17%). Low voter turnout was recorded in Tomsk and Novosibirsk regions and in Russian Karelia, where it was around 45%.

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Abroad, a total of 230 polling stations gave Russians living abroad the opportunity to cast their vote. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, more than 125,000 Russians have used the facility.

There were isolated attempts to disrupt the operation of polling stations. About 30 of them were attempts to set ballot boxes on fire or pour colored liquid into the box to destroy the votes inside, Russian media reported. According to the CEC, a total of 214 ballots were irretrievably damaged in these attacks. CEC chief Ella Pamfilova also said that more than 280 hacker attacks on the online voting system had been repelled.

This year, voters had a choice of four candidates on their ballots. Apart from the incumbent Vladimir Putin, all other candidates were nominated by parliamentary parties. As in 2018, Putin is running as an independent and has the support of three political forces: the ruling United Russia party, the opposition Just Russia – for Truth and the Family parties.

Putin voted online in the presidential election (VIDEO)

The Communist Party candidate was Nikolai Kharitonov – a veteran politician and, at 75, the oldest participant in the race. He was also a presidential candidate in the 2004 election, finishing second, behind only Putin.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) nominated its new leader Leonid Slutsky as a candidate. He took over the reins of the party in 2022, when its longtime leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky died due to complications from Covid-19.

The New People party, which was founded before the parliamentary elections in 2021, nominated State Duma deputy Vladislav Davankov. A member of the budget and tax committee, Vyacheslav Volodin also became the deputy chairman of the State Duma under United Russia. At 40, Davankov is also the youngest candidate in the race.

According to Russia’s state statistics agency VCIOM, Putin is expected to beat all his opponents by a wide margin as he enjoys the support of 82% of the electorate. Kharitonov and Davankov are likely to compete for second place, as each is supported by roughly 6% of the population.

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