Russia’s CEC to have rehearsal of federal elections

MOSCOW, August 21 (Itar-Tass) — A provisional day of voting will be held across Russia Sunday as part of preparations for the federal elections due at the end of this year and the beginning of next year.

Officials at Russia’s Central Electoral Commission /CEC/ said this will be an all-Russia rehearsal of how to utilize the State Automated System of the Russian Federation GAS Vybory.

The training session will embrace the electoral commissions of different levels in the conditions that will have maximum resemblance of the real parliamentary and presidential elections.

A model polling station equipped with an electronic voting kit will be open throughout the day in the CEC’s building in Bolshoi Cherkassky Lane in Moscow. CEC Chairman Vladimir Churov is due to open it at 11:00 hours.

“In the course of the rehearsal, focus will be given to the procedures for voting at the model polling station and transmission of protocols with the votes counted to a territorial electoral commission,” a source at the CEC told Itar-Tass.

Representatives of federal agencies, political parties, civic society organizations, and foreign guests are expected to take part in what is viewed here as a ‘dress rehearsal’ of the December election.

The action started out at the beginning of last week. Its main objective is to test the functional readiness of the entire electoral system and the GAS Vybory in particular provisional elections of all types. Apart from the Duma and presidential campaigns, the electoral authorities are simulating actions during 38 regional and 908 local elections.

The planning of provisional election campaigns was done in the period of August 15 through August 19 and the simulated election was scheduled for August 20 and August 21. Monday, August 22 will see the publication of official results.

A official start to the parliamentary election should be given by a presidential decree that is due to be issued between August 25 and September 4 in accordance with the terms specified by the federal legislation.

The parliamentary election will be held December 4. In addition to it, an unprecedented number of elections will be held on the same day.

According to the information released by the CEC, voters in 27 constituent regions of the Russian Federation will be expected to elect regional parliaments.

Also, between 2,500 to 3,000 local elections will be held on the same day.

The electoral marathon will span some six months, as the most probable date for the presidential election is March 4, 2012.

This will be the last extremely lengthy electoral campaign in Russia. After the prolongation of the term of MPs’ duties to five years and the President’s duties to six years, the parliamentary and presidential elections will be spaced out by big enough intervals.

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