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Moscow Scraps Paper Ballots in Favor of Online Voting

Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Election officials in Moscow have scrapped paper ballots in favor of online voting at an upcoming vote for the Russian capital’s legislative assembly, state news agencies reported Thursday.

Watchdogs and researchers say Russia’s opaque online voting system enables electoral fraud by making independent monitoring impossible.

Moscow’s election commission voted 12-1 to make electronic voting the default way of casting ballots at the Sept. 6-8 three-day election period for the Moscow City Duma, according to Interfax.

Paper ballots will only be provided if the voter applies for one by Sept. 2.

“If earlier you had to apply to vote remotely, the situation has now changed,” said commission deputy Dmitry Reutov. He added that the “overwhelming majority” of voters prefer online voting since it was introduced in 2020.

In the years since, state employees complained they had been intimidated into voting online.

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