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Putin Brings Back the Option to Vote 'Against All'

Citizens unhappy with all available candidates for city office can now let their discontent be known by ticking off the "against all" option when casting ballots for municipal elections in accordance with a new law signed by President Vladimir Putin.

A bill pushing for a return of the "against all" option, which was nixed back in 2006 at the behest of United Russia deputies, was submitted to the State Duma last October by a group of senators headed by Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko.

The return of the "against all" option will allow for "a more thorough realization of the equality of electoral rights set out in the constitution," a note attached to the bill said, adding that it would embolden voters to "express their will more accurately."

Initially, the bill sought to reintroduce the "against all" option to elections at all levels, but later amendments excluded all but the municipal level.

Some politicians have spoken out in favor of the "against all" option, arguing that it could help boost voter turnout.

The law is set to take effect in 2015.

See also:

'Against All' Option Could Reappear on Election Ballots

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