Russia will try mail-in voting for first time in Sverdlovsk Region

Rules for mail-in voting in the race for governor of Sverdlovsk Region set for September 7 have been approved by the Sverdlovsk Region Election Commission. The rules limit the eligibility for such ballots to residents of Sverdlovsk Region who are outside the province on the day of the vote. The gubernatorial race will see the first use ever of mail-in voting in Russia, said Vladimir Mostovshchikov, chairman of the commission.

According to information received by Rosbalt in the offices of the Election Commission, voters who will be outside the province on the day of voting should visit their local election office between August 18 and August 25 and either personally pick up the packet of papers needed for mail-in voting or provide the office with the address outside Sverdlovsk Region where it should be sent. The packet includes an A4-size envelope marked 'Electoral' and 'Voting by Mail' inside which will be the ballot and an unused, stamped envelope of A4 size as well as sufficient postage (USD 0.5) for the return of the ballot. The packet would be sent by certified mail to the post office of the voter's temporary residence for pickup in person by the voter. Receipt must be signed for on a special slip for the purpose.

The instructions call for the voter to open the packet carefully, remove and complete the ballot before placing it in the unused, unmarked envelope. That envelope should then be re-placed in the original envelope marked 'Electoral' and 'Voting by Mail,' the stamps affixed to it, and it should then be mailed to the address of the voter's local election commission. To count in the results of the election, the ballot must be received by the commission no later than 10 p.m. September 7.

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