Secretary of the CEC: Internet voting is impossible to enter “one click”

Secretary of the CEC: Internet voting is impossible to enter “one click”


Maya Grishina told, working on what the office on the eve of municipal and presidential elections

Photo: NEWS/Paul Poor

In the coming days, the Central election Commission (CEC) of Russia will adopt the Bylaw to the law “On elections of President of the Russian Federation” introduced by the group of senators. About its provisions, the idea of cutting the municipal filter, youth electoral concept of voting via the Internet to the correspondent of “Izvestia” angelina Galaninoj told the Secretary of the CEC, Maya Grishina.

— The CEC has collected the proposals of the parties on the amendments to electoral legislation. This files most often have — please abolish the municipal filter. If the Commission considers such a possibility?

— There is an international recommendation rule that changes the electoral system should occur no later than a year before the election. Now there is an active preparation for the gubernatorial elections. I don’t think the legislator will now quickly change the rules of the game. This should be done in advance.

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Some parties advocate the abolition or simplification of the municipal filter. But the idea of the current law is not in the filter, and support — ensure that candidates who are nominated for the position of Governor were persons known to the municipal deputies and heads. This is the meaning of the municipal support, and not to establish any barriers. It is clear that such support makes to the candidate additional requirements.

Noteworthy project, which proposes to eliminate the rule that a MP can support the candidate only from one party. This issue will be discussed in the state Duma. The CEC Chairman, Ella Pamfilova said that it is discussing. But, as I understand it, it will be considered after the presidential campaign.

— That is, the CEC may recommend to reduce municipal filter? In Moscow it is high — 10%…

— We are for the competitiveness of elections. Objectively this, of course, leads to a reduction in the threshold. The Federal legislator has proposed a fork — from 5 to 10%. But this is at the discretion of the legislator of a subject of the Russian Federation, and are well made: sometimes 10% less than 5% — it all depends on how big the DePuy corps of the subject.

Percents are calculated from the absolute number of deputies, and it depends on dividing the subject of the Russian Federation of municipalities. We have a very heterogeneous entities by the number of the elected deputies, the percentage depends on the architecture of local self-government built in every subject.

Therefore, not only percent of everything is measured. When choosing the threshold, the legislator of the subject of Federation should also be guided by the assessment of the status of the political party system in the region — in some regions up to 70 regional offices of parties, and somewhere are only four parliamentary parties.

The legislator of the subject when setting the threshold should take a responsible approach to assessing the practical application of the filter, it should be passable. This was discussed in the constitutional court, which noted that the legislator may establish additional criteria for applicants for the post of Governor, but they should not be directly restrictive, a priori, do not let anyone to the polls. In each subject, the threshold must be evaluated personally, you can’t say 5% is good and 10% not.

— Specifically in Moscow?

— Let’s first see the number of deputies. Now just “cutting” of districts, where September 10, elections will be held in Moscow. She will show you 10% is a lot or a little. Given that the period of elections of the mayor of the city — a year after the municipal, there is already a reasonable legislator will approach the issue of evaluation. Perhaps another percentage to establish.

— If the CEC is still coming to the conclusion that the filter is lower, can we expect the relevant recommendations?

— The CEC will assess it for compliance with the law. Yes, we can have a common position, but it will be relative to Moscow a year after the municipal elections, I can’t say.

— Are a provision that the CEC shall approve in accordance with the amendments to the Federal law “On elections of President of the Russian Federation” introduced by Senator Andrew Clisham?

— Actively working on by-law identified in the amendments. Target date — end of March. A working version will first discuss. For the first reading, which will take place in mid-April, the legislator needs to obtain the report. And approval will be only after the entry into force of the law. All intermediate variants and their discussion, of course, assumed.

— What will happen in the by-law, can you tell?

— The purpose of these changes is simplification for the citizen of the procedures for getting into the list of voters, participation in elections at the place of their actual location, given the high mobility of the Russian population and the fact that the absentee ballots are not allowed, as shown, to realize the rights of those who live not at the place of registration. Our task is to consider this category of citizens, to enable them at the location in advance to submit a legally significant statement and get into the voters list. Considering the option of filing via the portal of public services, where the citizen is identified. Another option is personal appearance in the territorial electoral Commission on the location of the application. Through the communication channels of gas “Vybory” will be given the necessary information, and the person will be included in the voter list. All proposed CEC decisions should meet the needs of the information society.

The main task now is to estimate the amount of information that will be treated for inclusion of citizens in voter lists at the place of location, preparation of equipment and personnel for such treatment. You also need to consider all the details to ensure the rights of different categories of voters: those who have long lived outside their place of residence, and those who leave home on business that cannot be postponed in day of voting: those who went to the hospital, is in a sanatorium, on a business trip or away, caring for sick or elderly relatives. It is necessary to solve several problems simultaneously. First, you want to include the citizen in the voters list where it is most convenient. Secondly, it is necessary to exclude the abuse of the right, that is, the repeated inclusion in the list and, accordingly, the possibility of repeated filing of the voice. Thirdly, to ensure transparency and public control.

— Should we expect in the near future the introduction of voting online?

— Internet voting is in some countries, the modern equivalent of early voting, but it is still remote in nature. Wherever you may be, can your candidate to support. It is convenient. However, not all this form of voting is applied.

— It would have largely saved the situation in remote places, would have saved the cost of elections…

— A few years ago this issue the CEC was discussed, but I have about hard-to-reach places, a certain skepticism was. Where the transport is not running, and the Internet is, it will save the situation, but in General, Internet voting is for those mobile citizens who live in big cities or abroad. If you look at world practice, possible hacks, the hacker access to personal data of voters. Moreover, there is no guarantee that people voted personally and freely.

The person who votes via the Internet, it is necessary to accurately identify. Instead of me no one voted, I have to have an identification electronic card and the reader enabling the home computer to identify me on the other end, the electoral Commission. Then we need to ensure the secrecy of voting, that is, there must be produced two mutually exclusive treatments. Some believe that it is technically solved, but there are risks, and many countries do not hurry to introduce Internet voting. And, by the way, where it is introduced for the citizen is not free — people have to buy card readers. Often, the possibility to cast the vote is a chip to the Bank card. In other words, Internet voting is impossible to enter “one click”, it requires a huge range of activities.

— The Duma elections postponed from December to September, it was made a year before voting day. Do you plan to change the date of presidential?

— As far as I can see, the legislator is not going to change anything, everything will take place in March next year. We are preparing for the scheduled elections. The CEC’s functions is as a permanent body that is ready to conduct the election campaign when the legislator decides. The planned campaign is good because we prepare normative documents that will help candidates prepare, develop the program of informing of voters. Unscheduled all done “on the run”.

Rules of campaigning in the elections is not forbidden to use different messengers and telegram channels. Keeps track of whether the CEC’s Internet space?

— Yes, to some extent. But to charge the CEC to monitor all Internet unreal. We then have to drop everything and to increase the staff on hundreds of units. It is rather a question for the intelligence agencies. They are monitoring the Internet to see, for example, of extremism. Any restriction must imply — for what. For television restrictions is clear — candidates must be provided equal access. But why do restrictions on the Internet, if all have this equal access, which does not technically restricted?

— Is there any way to improve the procedure of verification of signatures in support of a candidate? Or maybe there is an idea the Institute to cancel?

— From this institution until the legislator is not intended to give, adequate substitutes it is not offered, most foreign countries this practice is supported. In ballots still need to get on the basis of some criteria. Collecting signatures is a difficult event, but for the presidential election, for example, the great legislator lowered the threshold of passing. Progress in this question is.

— The CEC supported the idea of the law on primaries, should we expect his appearance?

— We understand the legal regime of property of election commissions (booths, ballot boxes), which can transmit to the parties for the primaries. If suddenly in practice it turns out that the regulatory measures of the civil code is not enough, then again going to raise the issue. Before a single day of voting, these procedures will go view the new practice.

— Whether the CEC to strengthen the work with young people, given that this age group of voters actively go to the polls…

— Developing concepts of outreach activities, hold a student competition and a competition for young teachers. In the regions the days of young voters. In General, we target all categories of voters, will not specifically single out anyone. We have a tradition of working with the future voters, and as long-term practice shows, it gives long term results. I studied this question, being in the regions. Asked: “Why do you work with students?” It is said that those who started working from a young age, ten years later came the electoral system to work in precinct commissions to put forward candidates. The regional commissions have developed interesting forms of work and, I think, will continue to do so.

These are isolated cases. Sociologists provide other information which suggests that young people are at best a once in a lifetime come to the polls — when you get the passport. And most of them ignore it…

— The Commission are with the youth to work productively, contribute and receive. When a person goes to the polls for the first time, it is interesting. Then, indeed, there comes a certain stage in a person’s life is 25-40 years old, when he is busy with some other things and less interested in the election. People objectively at this time busy building careers, families, etc. Issues of functioning of the state is sometimes overshadowed. But some understand that their participation in the formation of the government depends on the future life. How on voter will to live depends on the results of the vote.

I believe that the main thing that will attract the citizen to the polls, is the understanding of why he participates in the elections. Easier to say, your personal interest in this participation. That is, I am for informed choice.

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