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06 october

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The Civic Chamber of the RF proposed to expand its election monitoring activities abroad

The new online corps of experienced observers can be instrumental in monitoring elections, including those held overseas

The Civic Chamber of the RF proposed to expand its election monitoring activities abroad

On behalf of the President of the Russian Federation, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, together with political parties and non-profit organizations, analyzed the results of monitoring the course of the All-Russian vote on approving amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Based on the results of work carried out by the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, proposals and recommendations were developed aimed at improving the institution of public observation.

“The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation has carried out fundamental work on developing the institution of public observation in the Russian Federation. We started back in 2012, and during eight years we have managed to bring public oversight over the elections to a totally new level, making it an integral part of all electoral procedures,” said Lydia Mikheeva, President of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.

According to Lydia Mikheeva, the Civic Chamber has not only created a unique institution that contributes to the transparency and legitimacy of elections in Russia, but it has also accumulated extensive experience in monitoring elections and referendums held overseas. Members of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation took part in monitoring elections held in Abkhazia, Belarus, Ukraine, South Ossetia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and other countries. The participation of Civic Chamber members in observation the US presidential election in 2012 was the first time in US history when foreign observers were invited. In this regard, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation proposes to develop the practice of engaging observers from the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation in order to monitor elections abroad.

The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation emphasizes the importance of forming a corps of observers in foreign countries in order to exercise public oversight over the elections held in those countries, including through interaction with organizations created by Russian compatriots. Thanks to the accumulated experience and a well-developed system of public oversight, the Civic Chamber is ready to provide support to foreign countries when monitoring elections.

The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation also proposes to consider the issue of access to polling stations for individual foreign experts invited by the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.

According to the experts of the Civic Chamber, the complicated epidemiological situation in 2020 has become, oddly enough, a factor enhancing the development of electoral institutions. During this period, new approaches to organizing the voting process were introduced and worked out, including the possibility of holding multi-day voting and electronic voting. Digital technologies have been positively received by citizens and have demonstrated their effectiveness. In this regard, the Civic Chamber recommends continuing the course towards digitalizing the voting and public observation processes.

At the same time, from the viewpoint of developing public oversight, the Civic Chamber highlights the need to transfer the "gold standard" of public observation into the digital format and create a single online platform with a centralized base of public observers.

Regarding the oversight of remote electronic voting, the Civic Chamber proposes to examine the issue of providing public observers with wider access when monitoring remote electronic voting. This will allow to gain expanded oversight over the voting process and make sure that the election results are reliable and genuine at any level.

Due to the fact that the system of civic chambers observes elections throughout the entire election campaign, the Civic Chamber proposes to legislate the right of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and the regional civic chambers to send observers to election commissions of any level from the moment when an election campaign starts, ensuring the transparency of all election procedures.

In the opinion of the Civic Chamber, all proposals and recommendations will improve the role of civil society institutions in observing the electoral process and ensure its openness and legality.

Tags: Lidia Mikheeva

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