The debate continues on amendments to the law “On elections of the President of Russia”, adopted by the state Duma in the first reading. They are really revolutionary. Russians will be able to vote for a President from any polling station of the country without absentee ballots, and each observer will be able to enter on any land without notice, in the hour when deemed necessary. The authors of the legislative initiative senators Andrei Klishas and Anatoly Shirokov argue that these changes would increase the turnout at the elections of 2018. However, such relief is another country: expanding the scope for fraud and provocations. For example, the turnout can be increased at the expense literally of dead souls. About the advantages and dangers of innovations “MK” talked with the head of the Russian public Institute of electoral law, member of the presidential Council for human rights, Igor BORISOV.
photo: Dmitry Katerinov
According to the amendments to the law, each voter may vote at any station in the country. It’s enough to make yourself a list of this precinct election Commission three days before the election, and it can be done over the phone. Do you see risks in this novel?
— Russia is among the world leaders in the turnout (not counting the countries where voting is compulsory and “truancy” being punished). Our leadership is due to the fact that the law is constantly modernizarea with the aim of creating the greatest conveniences to voting. But the pioneers always have risks. Of course, we are faced with new threats of fraud. But we have unconditional success: automated system “Elections” has become invulnerable to hacking and manipulation, it takes into account every voter and should not allow him to vote more than once. Voted — in the system a check mark appears. This allows legislators to try to allow citizens to vote without absentee ballots in the place where they are. And then — practice will tell. Risks at the level of individual artists remain. We know that all the good ideas in Russia stumble on parochial schemes. But against these schemes are aimed a well-developed system of public control.
— Imagine a “small-town” scheme. In Russia die each year about a million people. From the voter lists of these people discarded during reconciliation — three days before the election or earlier. But many still do not have time to strike before election day. Now all these dead souls can be translated to a vote in another region a simple phone call. So, “local”, they are no longer crossed out, and “those” — and they won’t check. Absentee ballots to obtain and present not necessary. Here’s the army voted posthumously…
— The Central election Commission to work out methods of dealing with such schemes. The risk, which you said is possible. But for this to occur a complex chain of corruption, collusion of certain individuals from the accounting system of the population registry offices and election commissions of a particular region. And such chains are punishable under criminal liability. I hope that by March 2018, these potential risk will be calculated and eliminated. And the savings from that will cease to print absentee ballots, which have protection and are not cheap, will be multi-million. After all, they were printed based on 2% of voters.
The transition to a free vote by any stretch — it’s not just savings and investment in the future — the beginning of the movement to the new technologies of voting: voting from home or from a mobile phone in any part of the country via the Internet.
Another amendment will facilitate the work of the observers. But — and provocateurs. Now if naughty observer removed from the count of votes, he could never after 20.00 come to another area. Under the bill, he will be able to go from site to site and to disrupt the work of counting the votes of many of the commissions, in turn… And if another site it will not be allowed — that they are breaking the law.
And the danger is there. And when it finally will not be allowed on another site, he is also a media scandal suit. Become a star of the screen. But then the judge will perform the civil society, the community of conscientious observers. You can see records from all sections where people misbehaved. Of course, there are willing to use such relief for running provocative technologies. So I am the enemy of provisions, to put from the street to the counting of votes after 20.00. But you need to understand that the benefits of such a bill are obvious. In the last election no party was able to send an observer to each precinct in the country, which under a hundred thousand. Now she can send one observer at a number of areas. And the credibility of the elections must be improved. How to respond to the provocation — we can do this the situation. In the future, based on this experience, to make changes in the law.