OSCE/ODIHR expert team in Ryazan follows Russia’s direct local elections
Following an invitation from the Russian Central Election Commission, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) sent a team of experts to Ryazan to follow election-day proceedings and the use of new voting technologies during the 14 October 2012 ‘single voting day’.
Elections were conducted to elect local executive and legislative authorities across the country on the basis of a legal framework that was considerably revised in recent months, including through the re-introduction of direct gubernatorial elections and a simplification of rules for political party registration.
The team of two international experts followed the opening, voting and counting procedures in five polling stations visited. They also accompanied members of an election commission during the conduct of mobile voting and met with oblast and territorial election commissions’ representatives on election night. The visit did not entail comprehensive observation of the election process.
According to the experts, the election officials they met demonstrated professionalism and confidence in administering the electoral process, including with the use of ballot scanning systems (KOIBs), ensuring their overall smooth operation. The use of KOIBs allowed for the swift calculation of results at a polling station level and their efficient tabulation by higher-level commissions.
The members of election commissions visited administered the process in an open manner, with a notable presence of contestants’ representatives, they added. Observation by domestic civil society organizations is not envisaged by legislation. Election proceedings from polling stations were live-streamed on a designated website, contributing to transparency.