Vladimir Putin meets representatives of Russia’s electoral commissions — key takeaways
President of Russia Vladimir Putin met members of the Central Electoral Commission and heads of regional electoral commissions dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the country’s electoral system on 15 November. He claimed that attempts of external and internal interference in the elections would be halted. Read key takeaways in Realnoe Vremya’s report.
About foreign interference
Electoral commissions now include 900,000 members with the right to the decisive vote, said Putin: “I have just looked through the documents, you know, it is surprising for me to have detected this figure.”
“The elections — both federal and regions — are always a tough, intense period,” the president stressed.
“I want to thank all of you for the discipline, decent, top performance. I hope your activity will continue being focus on, first of all, respecting the citizens’ rights to vote, including on intensifying educational work in society, among different social groups so that people understand their possibilities, the power of their vote, realise the significance of their civic duty,” he said.
Also, the head of the country claimed that the authorities would do their best to prevent any illegal invasion of the election process.
“Attempts of external and internal interference, pressure on the election process will be halted,” he warned.
About electronic voting and CCTV
As Putin noted, now there are over 20 electronic services on the websites of the State Services and the Central Electoral Commission.
“They provide a qualitatively new level of accessibility, transparency of electoral procedures and are already considered as ordinary electoral standards of Russia, not as novelty. Votes, candidates, parties, observers, mass media outlets and, of course, electoral commissions themselves use such services.”
He touched on electronic voting too:
“Such experience has already been approved in 30 regions. Mrs Pamfilova once persuaded me of the advantages of such a form of voting, and in fact she turned out to be right,” the president said.
He mentioned CCTV surveillance as well:
“I would also like to highlight that the use of video surveillance during the elections is one of the effective ways of civic and public control. It is not used as wide as it is in our country around the globe, CCTV cameras here are installed at most polling stations. He also mentioned AI:
“Nowadays no artificial intelligence will replace a humane attitude to people.”
About citizens’ greater trust in elections
Also, Putin noted that citizens’ trust in the elections in Russia increased:
“The modern standards used by electoral commissions allowed achieving significant rise in the trust in both the elections and the electoral system itself. All sociological studies register it. So after the voting in 2020, 60% of respondents surveyed by the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre claimed they trusted the election results, and in September 2022, 69% of respondents thought that the elections were in general honest in their region, without serious violations.”
According to him, “the assessment is democratic enough, but it shouldn’t calm us down.”
“Of course, it is necessary to keep working on improving the electoral system. In particularly it is necessary to actively work on the creation of a digital platform that is to replace the existing version of Elections soon.”
About work of electoral commissions in new regions
The president of Russia separately noted the work of electoral commissions in the country’s new regions:
“I would like to talk about the devoted, smooth work of electoral commissions of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts during the elections this year. They were regulated by Russian legislation for the first time and took place in complicated, tough conditions.”
He thanked Pamfilova for organising the elections in these regions: “She did her best to make sure our electoral system confidently addressed all tough challenges.”
“At the same time, I perfectly understand that it is hard for everybody working in electoral commissions of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts. I just want to sincerely thank you myself, on behalf of the country, say thanks for your courage and loyalty to Russia,” Putin stressed.