14:43 GMT +320 August 2019
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    State Duma plenary session. (File)

    Russian Lower House Adopts Bill Criminalizing ‘Carousel Voting’

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    Russia's State Duma adopted the legislation introducing criminal sanctions for a special election fraud.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's State Duma, the lower house of country's parliament, adopted in the third and final reading the legislation introducing criminal sanctions including up to five years of the imprisonment for the so-called carousel voting, an election fraud when the voters are driven between polling stations to cast votes multiple times.

    The bill tabled in early June stipulates the fine of up to 500,000 rubles (around $8,500), penal labor or imprisonment for up to four years for the distribution of voting ballots to let people engage in "carousel" scheme.

    The receiving of ballots for "carousel voting" is to be punished with a fine of up to 300,000 rubles, penal labor or imprisonment for up to three years.

    The penalty for such illegal voting practices if perpetrated by an organized group of people varies from a fine of up to 700,000 rubles to imprisonment for up to five years.

    The initiative to criminalize "carousel voting" was taken by the Russian parliamentarians in reaction to multiple reports of the implementation of such scheme at Russian general election in September 2016.

    Last Friday, Pavel Kvashennikov, chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on State-Building and Legislation characterized the introduction of the criminal sanctions for "carousel voting" as a necessary measure to increase the validity of the election process.


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