Voters can use the Unified Public Services Portal to choose a convenient polling station
Technologically, the solution has been made available by RTLabs
With the adoption of amendments to the federal law on voting rights, Russian voters can choose convenient polling stations depending on their current location. For the first time this right was exercised in 20 Russian federal entities on the single voting day on 10 September 2017.
On 18 March 2018, the day of presidential elections in Russia, voters will also be able to vote at their current locations. To make this possible, the Unified Public Services Portal has offered voters a service to file online applications to be added to the list of voters of any polling station convenient for them. The service, also available from the Public Services mobile app, can be used only once between 31 January and 12 March 2018.
To use the service, a voter has to log on to the Unified Public Services Portal from a confirmed client account and follow the link to the Choose Your Polling Station page by clicking the banner on the main page or making the relevant selection from the catalogue. They will then be asked to fill in an online form and send their e-application to the Russian Central Electoral Commission (CEC) as soon as their voter data has been automatically verified.
A printable section of the application will then appear in the applicant's Member Area, with the details of the selected polling station. The voter will be able to carry with them a hard copy of the printable section on the voting day or save it on their mobile device.
If for any reason a voter is unable to use the service on the Portal, they can submit their application in person at applications collection points (district, territorial electoral commissions or multifunctional centres for public services).
Requirements for the technical implementation of this procedure were developed by the Federal Informatization Centre of the Russian CEC on the basis of the CEC-approved Procedure for Alternative Polling Stations for Presidential Elections in Russia. The technological section of the project was put in place by Rostelecom, with the participation of lead system integrator RTLabs.
For the Choose Your Polling Station service, the Portal uses additional features of user authentication at the time of submittal as well as verification of passport data across IT systems of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Additional controls were developed to monitor the quality of applications’ transmission to CEC over SMEV channels.
‘The functionality in place opens an opportunity to a large group of voters, such as students, business travellers, holiday-makers and anyone who is simply not registered at the place of their residence, to exercise their constitutional right to vote on 18 March in the Russian presidential elections. Over the first 12 hours of the service going live, the number of applications we got through the Portal was 50% higher than we had received over the entire period for accepting applications to vote on an extraterritorial principle basis on the single voting day of 10 September 2017,’ said Mikhail Bondarenko, Director for E-Government, Rostelecom.