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18 September 2021, 14:36

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Photo by M. Mishin. Press Service of the Mayor and the Moscow Government

Residents of Moscow who pre-registered to participate in the online elections can vote until 20:00 on September 19.

Sergei Sobyanin voted online in the elections to the State Duma. The Mayor of Moscow gave his vote in the premises of the precinct election commission of remote electronic voting, working at the Expocentre on Krasnaya Presnya.

Despite the activeness of voters (especially in the first hours of the electronic voting system) and the huge number of hacker attacks, remote electronic voting in Moscow has proven to be technologically stable and reliable, Sergei Sobyanin noted. In addition, it helps to solve the problem of a drop in the turnout in elections due to the depoliticization of society.

“This is a trend that we see all over the world, especially for large cities of the world and our country, and it is quite difficult to increase the turnout and voter turnout. Even if competitive elections are held, turnout remains low. It is very bad when, at the level of municipalities, districts or the state, the decision is made for us by a minority. The minority forms federal authorities and local self-government bodies, thus, in fact, they decide for us the fate of many projects, and, in fact, the fate of our city and country, ”said the Mayor of Moscow.

Electronic voting helps to significantly activate voters, simplify the voting procedure, make it comfortable and modern. According to Sergei Sobyanin, the number of online voters in Moscow is already approaching 1.5 million.

“We already see this year, when for the first time electronic voting is applied on such a massive scale that the turnout in the elections to the State Duma will be higher than it was in 2016. Primarily thanks to electronic voting. A huge number of people who have completely forgotten what polling stations look like have come to the electronic voting system, ”the Moscow Mayor emphasized.

For participation in electronic voting2,014,765 voters in Moscow were registered at the elections to the State Duma. In addition, residents of Akademichesky, Gagarinsky, Lomonosovsky, Novogireevo districts and parts of Veshnyaki, Ivanovskoye and Vernadsky Prospekt districts can vote electronically in the elections of Moscow City Duma deputies, and Shchukin residents can vote for municipal deputies.

The electronic voting system created by the Moscow Government uses a number of advanced information technologies. The transparency and immutability of all data will be ensured by the blockchain, and the secret of voting will be ensured by the anonymizer. Voices are encrypted using a special key. It is impossible to trace the path of the ballot, as well as to find out the choice of the voter.

Public surveillance

At the Expocentre on Krasnaya Presnya there is a public headquarters for observing the elections in Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin got acquainted with its work. The headquarters was established in 2013 at the initiative of the capital’s Public Chamber. It includes representatives of various public organizations and political forces.

“About 16 thousand observers work at the polling stations, the work is coordinated by the public headquarters for observing the elections in Moscow. This is a well-oiled mechanism. Systems of video cameras are working, workplaces are arranged specifically in order to monitor each site and each procedure, – added Sergei Sobyanin. “Thanks to the public headquarters, observers, activists who make our elections more honest and transparent.”

 

Taking into account the experience of preparing and organizing the work of the public headquarters in recent years, the Moscow standard for ensuring fair and transparent elections has been formed. The structure of the public headquarters includes an analysis group, 15 mobile response groups, an electronic headquarters, a video center, a call center and a press center.

At the site of the public headquarters, there are also three precinct election commissions for remote electronic voting, a printer zone and a citywide public video center. It has more than 200 workplaces for observers; they can watch online broadcasts from video cameras installed on the territory of Moscow election commissions during three voting days.

The head of the public headquarters and the analysis group is the deputy chairman of the Public Chamber of Moscow, Alexei Venediktov, and the head of the electronic headquarters is Ilya Massukh. For detailed observation of the situation in each of the 15 constituencies, representatives of the public headquarters are assigned to them.

A key ally of the public headquarters in ensuring transparent and fair elections is the observer corps of the Public Chamber of Moscow. More than 16 thousand observers of the Public Chamber are involved in the 2021 elections, who are located at 3.6 thousand polling stations and in the video center of the public headquarters.

Approximately 45 percent of observers have experience at various levels of elections and are well aware of the work ahead. Among the observers of the Public Chamber, 54.4 percent are young people under the age of 35, 23.3 percent are people aged 35 to 50, and 22.3 percent are over 50.

Observers on the territory of precinct election commissions get acquainted with the documentation, together with the members of the election commission, they monitor the counting of votes, receive certified copies of the protocols, are present when the ballots are moved from the ballot boxes to safe-bags and when the ballot boxes are sealed.

Observers at the public headquarters monitor the elections at polling stations using a video surveillance system.

To control the conduct of electronic voting, information on the number of issued ballots and those who voted is displayed on information panels. She can also be seen on the site… Voting boxes with embedded printers print encrypted data from the blockchain network. Printing of the “trail” of ballots is required in case a manual recount of votes is required.

If cases of violation of the election procedure are found, observers report them to members of the public headquarters. Messages arriving at the headquarters are promptly checked, and the necessary response measures are taken on them.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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