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Russian Officials Want Voters’ Travel Plans on Election Day, Agents Say

Moskva News Agency

Russian travel agents have reportedly received requests from local election officials to divulge information about customers who have travel plans on election day this fall.  

Sept. 9 is election day for several Russian regions to vote for governors, mayors and deputies. Polls show that the expected voter turnout for the Moscow mayoral election will be around 32 percent.

Irina Tyurina, spokeswoman for the Russian Tourism Union, told Interfax on Thursday that regional election officials asked tour agencies to provide the names, date of birth and place of registration of eligible voters planning to go out of town on Sept. 9. 

In response, Tyurina said that client’s personal information was protected by law.

Providing personal data without approval is illegal and the request does not fall within the scope of election offices, Tyurina was quoted as saying.

Russia’s Central Election Committee (CEC) distanced itself from the maneuver and promised to issue a statement of clarification, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

The CEC’s deputy chairman Nikolai Bulayev also noted his agency has worked with the Russian state travel watchdog to inform travelers about voting from abroad, but stressed that the action was strictly an “outreach campaign.”

“The CEC has always advocated the strict observance of the Law on Personal Data,” Bulayev was quoted as saying.

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