In the elections on 10 September showed a drop in voter turnout

© RIA Novosti / Alexander Krauledat in photosangelina voting day in the regions of Russia. Archival photoIn the elections on 10 September showed a drop in voter turnout© RIA Novosti / Alexander Krajevima the image Bank

The downward trend in voter turnout has been preserved in the elections on 10 September, although the record low turnout was not in any region, in most cases, its performance was lower than in previous similar elections, found out the experts of the Committee of civil initiatives (THD) Alexei Kudrin.

On Thursday, the OIG submitted a report on the results of the election campaign-2017. Elections of different level have passed in Russia in the uniform voting day on September 10 in 82 of the 85 regions in 16 subjects chose the governors, six members of the legislative Assembly.

«The election results on 10 September 2017 showed that there is a trend to lower voter turnout. Although record figures this time, no… in most cases the turnout in the elections of 2017 were lower than in previous similar elections,» the report said.

Experts recalled that the record low turnout in regional elections (21%) was recorded in 2014-2015 — in the elections to the Moscow city Duma and on elections of the Governor of the Arkhangelsk region. Reasons for the decline in turnout in General, according to experts of the Committee are the postponement of elections in September, reducing the competitiveness of elections, and a reduction in campaign activities of parties and candidates.

Total turnout

This year, the only case of increasing voter turnout experts have recorded in the elections of the Governor of Sverdlovsk region (turnout was 37,3%), the activity on the previous similar election in this region was at the level of 33.6%.

In other regions there was a marked decrease in turnout. If, for example, in the Kaliningrad region the reduced turnout was «symbolic» (the difference is 0.4%), the decline is noticeable in the Mari El Republic (to 3.5%), Kirov region (5,9%), Udmurt Republic (8.5%) and, especially, Novgorod region (14.4 per cent).

At the elections of regional parliaments picture, according to experts OIG, have been mixed: in those three regions, where the turnout in October 2012 was the highest (45-49%), it still grew, and in the other three regions declined. So, the increase in the turnout of this level was observed in North Ossetia, Penza and Saratov regions, Udmurtia, the Krasnodar Krai and on Sakhalin turnout compared to previous elections, by contrast, declined.

In the elections of the representative bodies of regional centers of 11 cities where the elections were held at this level, turnout increased in only three: Cherkessk, Yaroslavl and Vladivostok, said the OIG. Experts note that in most cases the turnout in the regional centre in these elections was lower than in municipal areas.

Separately, the experts analyzed the turnout for municipal elections in Moscow; in the OIG noted that all previous elections were combined with elections to higher levels. Against this background, the turnout at 14.8% does not seem very low, said experts — although it is much lower than 21% in the elections to the Moscow city Duma, «but it is obvious that the interest of Muscovites to the municipal elections is even lower than the urban». The voter turnout in these elections in different districts vary greatly – in some areas of the centre and close to the center, which basically was an active struggle, the turnout exceeded 20%, the lowest turnout was observed in the outlying districts.

In OIG also reviewed the situation in the Sverdlovsk region, where there was marked intra-regional differences in turnout. The experts came to the conclusion that a lottery held the day of the vote in the inner cities (among them was not of Yekaterinburg), «played a significant role.» The turnout in these areas, according to the OIG, rose compared with the year 2016 by 7.3%, while in the areas where the lottery is not held, the turnout fell by 8.2%. On the other hand, the call of the mayor of Yekaterinburg Yevgeny Roizman to boycott the elections, according to the OIG, contributed to the decline in turnout in the regional center (15.5% compared to 2016).

Early, home-based and without absentee

Data about voting on the actual location without the need to take an absentee ballot experts OIG found «unclear». So, statements about voting on the actual location for 45-5 days before election day, according to the CEC, filed 223 407 people, and for four days or less before the election (i.e. special applications with protective marks) – 21 928 people.

«However, our calculation based on data retrieved from the CEC website, gives other numbers – 183 and 464 427 19. With regard to the number of applications filed four days before election day and later, we assume that not all TICK these data are entered,» — said in the report.

In General, as experts note, «we can conclude that the new mechanism has enabled a substantial part of the citizens to realize their election rights.» According to them, the movement of voters on sites was mainly from the regional periphery of regional centres and major cities.

«Thus, this mechanism allows voters to vote, the official residence which is situated in the countryside, and the actual place of residence – in a large city. It is obvious that in the Federal election of such citizens will be much more,» I believe in the OIG.

At the same time, experts believe that the new mechanism is still not fully developed, suffer from a lack of openness. The report also pointed out that, according to experts from the Perm region, this mechanism could be used during the election «to encourage voters to vote at certain polling stations», particularly in Perm.

Experts OIG noted in a number of regions with a high level of home voting, the leaders were Ryazan oblast (14.7% of the number of voters) and Krasnodar Krai (13,5%), Belgorod (12,3%) and Penza (12,2%) regions.

As for early voting used in municipal elections, its level in the different territories varies greatly. In many cities, the proportion of early voting is from 1 to 5%, this level, according to experts, can be considered normal.

«The apparent high proportion of early voters in Barnaul, Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Omsk and Pskov… At the same time, the low level of early voting in Stary Oskol and Naro-Fominsk raises suspicion that the voters were obstructed in the exercise of their right to vote early,» — noted in the report.

The Committee said that the level of early voting in many districts was below 1% of the number of voters, and in the Airport area and left no one voter voted early. At the same time, the level of voting at home was in some areas quite high by Moscow standards — for example, in one County of the district Krasnosel it was 9.2%.