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24 Dec, 2020 16:12

Embracing the future or risking voter fraud? In 2024, Russia could vote for its president using the internet, top official reveals

Embracing the future or risking voter fraud? In 2024, Russia could vote for its president using the internet, top official reveals

Electronic voting will be rolled out further across Russia next year, with parliamentary elections going online in a number of regions. By 2024, it’s possible that the next presidential election will be conducted on the web.

That's according to Ella Pamfilova, the chairwoman of Russia's Central Election Commission, the body responsible for conducting and overseeing how the country votes.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Pamfilova revealed that internet voting would be used in the 2021 State Duma elections in between five to seven regions. It was originally planned to be used in around 20, but this was reduced due to “a number of factors.”

If all goes to plan, the next presidential election could be conducted online throughout the whole country.

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Speaking to Moscow daily Vedomosti, political expert Konstantin Kalachev noted that voting over the internet would make it more difficult to prove an election had been rigged.

“It is impossible to prove manipulation of the result,” he said. “But it's also hard to prove the opposite.”

Kalachev also noted that it is crucial to maintain the trust of older voters, who may not understand online elections.

In Russia, electronic voting was first used in the 2019 elections in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. It was used again this year in two parliamentary by-elections, in the regions of Kursk and Yaroslavl.

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In May, a survey conducted by pollster WCIOM revealed that more than half of the respondents (69 percent) would vote in-person if given a choice.

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