The Kremlin expects a higher-than-normal turnout for the 2024 presidential election with President Vladimir Putin winning at least three-fourths of the vote, the RBC news website reported Monday, citing sources.
The Kremlin’s benchmarks are for a 70% voter turnout and for Putin to win 75% of the vote, according to the presidential administration's strategy presented at a seminar for regional officials at a compound outside Moscow last week, RBC reported.
"The conversation was about needing more than last time [in the 2018 elections]," one of the seminar's participants told RBC.
At the same time, the Kremlin would like to see the number of people who vote for Putin in absolute terms be higher than it was in 2018.
The strategy counts on an increased number of voters due to Moscow’s contested annexation of four Ukrainian regions last September. Given that support for Putin is high in these regions, voters there will be more likely to vote for his re-election, RBC reported in early March.
Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions is not recognized by the international community and followed referendums which were widely viewed as a sham.
Putin himself has not yet confirmed plans to run for a fifth term next year, but he has promised that the election will take place as planned.
Kremlin officials reportedly used the term "main candidate" instead of Putin's first and last name during the strategy seminars.
In the 2018 presidential election, Putin won 76.7% of the vote (56.4 million votes in absolute numbers) with a turnout of 67.5%.