REM Glossary article

Multi-day election


Multi-day election is the practice of holding voting over more than one day.

As of May 2024, three-day voting has become a common practice in Russia. This includes two additional days before the unified election day on Sunday, when voters can come to the polling stations to cast their votes. Multi-day voting means the election commissions work in full capacity for three consecutive days, Friday to Sunday, and the election results are summarized on the last day (Sunday) after the polling stations are closed.

According to experts, multi-day election has several disadvantages. It increases the workload on election commissions, simplifies the process of electoral fraud and complicates the election observation procedure.

The multi-day election was first tested in Russia during the voting on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation in 2020. Back then, the introduction of multi-day voting was explained as a measure to ensure the safety of voters during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the practice of multi-day voting persisted in subsequent elections until today, even though the pandemic was over. The main argument in favor of this practice has been, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC), its alleged convenience for voters.

During multi-day election, the integrity of ballots cast by voters in the first two days of voting is crucial. Various devices, such as safety packages, should be used to ensure the security of these ballots, especially at night, when the possibility of independent observation at the polling station is limited. Such packages should be securely sealed in a specific way, and a special report should indicate the number of ballots placed in the package. Together with the report, the package should be placed in a safe deposit box, put under video surveillance, and be guarded by the police overnight.

However, the procedure is frequently disregarded by the Russian CEC, as multi-day voting is mainly exploited for falsification purposes, such as ballot box stuffing or ballot substitution.

Last update on 2024-05-29 by Content manager.

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