REM Glossary article

Mobile ballot-box voting

The official name is "voting outside of the premises for voting".

Mobile ballot-box voting, mobile voting, homebound voting, off-site voting, and at-home voting are informal but more prevalent.

In Russia, the practice of mobile ballot-box voting is established for voters who are unable to go in person to a voting place due to a health condition, disability or incarceration.  


Special mobile boxes are used for mobile voting. Mobile boxes must be numbered.



All mobile boxes shall be sealed in the morning, at the same time as the main ballot boxes. From the time they are sealed until the close of voting, the mobile boxes should remain in the voting room (unless, of course, they are used while collecting votes away from the polling station). Observers should not lose sight of these boxes while the boxes are at the polling station.

The Precinct Election Commission is obliged to accept applications from citizens for mobile voting within 10 days prior to Election Day. Accepted applications (in the form of written applications and verbal appeals submitted to the commission directly or through third parties) are recorded in a special register.

It is debatable which reasons are valid for voting outside voting premises. The main issue is whether the list of reasons given in the law (health, disability, and incarceration) is exhaustive.

The Supreme Court has, at various times, expressed diametrically opposed views on specific cases [1], [2], [3]

Commissions often use mobile ballot-box voting for box stuffing as observer oversight is minimal.

Mobile ballot-box with stuffed ballots

PEC #467, Kostroma region, 13 Sept 2015

Ballot box after homebound voting. The suspicious ballot box is on the left, and the normal ballot box is on the right. The left box had not been accompanied by observers, the right one had been.



In some regions, voters become massively 'sick' during elections, commissions set records in terms of productivity and speed of movement, and the ruling party's performance increases.

The stuffing is revealed by stacks of ballots that are impossible in case of voting one voter at a time.

Another problem is that elderly voters depend on social workers, who usually accompany the mobile voting team, and vote under the caregivers' guidance and/or with a violation of the secrecy of the vote.

Voting under guidance.

PEC # 1247, Krasnodar region, 11 Sept 2022.



Images and evidence from:

Voting outside voting premises, Territorial Election Commission of Kasharsky district, Election Commission of Rostov region, Russia

Voting Outside the Voting Premises, Official website of the Degtyarsk Urban District.

The mystical appearance of packs in ballot boxes, Golos Movement

Russian voters go to the polls – in pictures, the Guardian.

Kostroma region, #UIK467 Ballot box after homebound voting. The suspicious ballot box is on the left and the normal ballot box is on the right, @rosbaltru, Government-controlled media, Russia

"Mass mobile voting is used for fraud and stuffing" - Sergei Mironov, the leader of the third parliamentary party Just Russia, the party website (Rus.)

Mass home voting: what authorities are betting on in Moscow elections, TV Rain (RUS)

At-Home Voting In Russia Opens Another Door To Fraud, Evidence Suggests, Radio Liberty

Russian regional vote marred by signs of foul play, Reuters

Report: Elections Official Warns of Use of Mobile Voting in Falsifications, The Moscow Times



1. Ruling of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 16.03.2010 № 45-V10-3 (Rus.)

2. Ruling of the Judicial Board for Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 09.03.2005 #63-G05-6 (Rus.)

3. Ruling of the Judicial Board for Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 18.04.2007 № 44-G07-8 (Rus.)

Last update on 2023-01-09 by Roman.

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