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01.06.2020, . 23:41


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2. Operation of the Precinct Election Commission

2.1. Organization of the Work of the Precinct Election Commission Before Voting Day

1. The precinct election commission shall

(a) in due time, inform the population about the address and the telephone number of the precinct election commission, its working hours; about the day, time and place of voting;
(b) update the voters list; compile and update the voters list if the electoral precinct is formed in a hard-to-reach or remote locality, in the territory of a military unit, at places of temporary stay of voters or if the electoral precinct is formed outside the territory of the Russian Federation; allow voters to examine the voters list; consider complaints about errors and inaccuracies in the voters list and make appropriate corrections therein. On the eve of voting day, the last completed sheet of the voters list shall be signed by the chairman and the secretary of the precinct election commission and sealed with the commission seal;
(c) re-count absentee certificates before signing the record of acceptance of absentee certificates from the territorial election commission;
(d) issue absentee certificates to voters for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation;
(e) re-count ballots before signing the record of acceptance of ballots from the territorial election commission;
(f) prepare voting premises, stationary and mobile ballot boxes and other equipment;
(g) monitor compliance with the rules for election campaigning in the territory of the electoral precinct;
(h) organize early voting in the electoral precinct when instructed to do so by the decision of the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation. If early voting is to be conducted for a separate group of voters (separate groups of voters) located at places far away from the voting premises and inaccessible or hard to reach by any means of transport (on polar stations, in remote and hard-to-reach localities, etc.) it is recommended that the voting members of the precinct election commission who are sent to organize early voting take with them an excerpt from the voters list, rather than the voters list itself, so as to avoid possible mistakes when voting returns are tabulated;
(i) organize voting at the polling station on voting day;
(j) inform voters about registered candidates on the basis of the information received from the territorial election commission;
(k) within the scope of its powers adjudicate complaints (statements) about violations of the Federal Law and take motivated decisions thereon;
(l) print the ballots in accordance with Clause 12, Article 63 of the Federal Law, which provides that in exceptional cases, if, for some reason, the precinct election commission of an electoral precinct formed in a remote or hard-to-reach locality, on a ship at sea on voting day, on polar stations has not received (and cannot receive) ballots for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation and if appropriate technical facilities are available, the precinct election commission may itself print the required number of ballots. The decision to print the electoral documentation, indicating the necessary number of ballots, shall be taken by the precinct election commission with the concurrence of the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation. If such a decision is taken by the precinct election commission of an electoral precinct formed outside the territory of the Russian Federation, it must be agreed with the CEC of Russia. Such precinct election commissions shall inform the territorial election commission about printing of ballots and their number;
(m) on the instruction of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation make corrections in the printed ballots. In the event of a withdrawal of a registered candidate voting members of the precinct election commission shall strike out the data of this registered candidate on ballots. The data must be stricken out by drawing a straight line across all lines of the data of the registered candidate by means of a ballpoint pen or ink of black, violet or blue color. The lines must pass through the blank box to the right of the data of the given registered candidate;
(n) check in advance the provision of a seal of the precinct election commission and for availability of the documents required for the work of the commission on voting day, including the following documents:

the Constitution of the Russian Federation;
the Federal Law «On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum»;
the Federal Law «On the Election of the President of the Russian Federation»;
writing pads for members of the precinct election commission;
a copy of the decision of the head of the municipality on the formation of electoral precincts;
the description of the boundaries of the electoral precinct;
a copy of the decision of the representative body of local self-government on the formation of precinct election commissions;
a record certifying receipt of the first copy of the voters list;
the voters list (the first copy);
a copy of the decision of the territorial election commission on the number of ballots to be delivered to precinct election commissions;
the record of acceptance of ballots from the territorial election commission;
ballots;
the record of acceptance of absentee certificates from the territorial election commission;
absentee certificates;
an excerpt from the journal of issued absentee certificates certified by the territorial election commission;
a copy of the decision of the territorial election commission on the number of mobile ballot boxes for voting outside the voting premises;
a copy of the decision of the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation on the number of mobile ballot boxes for early voting;
a telephone directory listing telephone numbers of the territorial election commission, the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, the bodies of local self-government, the Prosecutor's offices, the courts , the law enforcement bodies, the fire brigade, the ambulance station;
blanks of the protocol of voting returns of a precinct election commission (including blanks to be used for issuing copies of the protocol);
the enlarged form of the protocol of voting returns of a precinct election commission;
the list of members of the precinct election commission (including non-voting members);
posters of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;
other documents necessary for administration of voting and for vote counting;

(o) on the eve of voting day ascertain in the territorial election commission when and how the information about the opening of voting premises and progress of voting is to be submitted; re-count unused absentee certificates and draw up the corresponding record; prepare the forms of records, certificates, journals and other electoral documents necessary for its work on voting day.

2. It is recommended that at one of its first meetings the precinct election commission not only approve its work plan for the entire period of its operation but also prepare memos, instructions for each member of the precinct election commission for various stages of the election campaign.

2.2. Organization of the Work of the Precinct Election Commission on Voting Day

l. Immediately after opening the voting premises the precinct election commission shall inform the territorial election commission to this effect by telephone and, during voting day, shall keep the territorial commission informed about the progress of voting in accordance with the approved schedule for transmission of such data.

2. The precinct election commission shall make arrangements for voting inside and outside the voting premises.

3. Within the scope of its powers the precinct election commission shall adjudicate complaints (statements) about violations of the Federal Law received on voting day, and take motivated decisions thereon.

4. The precinct election commission shall exercise other powers in accordance with the Federal Law.

2.3. Protocol of Voting Returns of the Precinct Election Commission

1. The protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission shall be signed by all voting members of the commission in attendance, sealed with the seal of the precinct election commission and marked to indicate the date and time (hours, minutes) when the protocol was completed. The protocol of the precinct election commission shall be completed in triplicate. The copy number must be written in the line specially provided for this purpose at the upper left on the first page of the protocol. All three copies of the protocol must show the same completion time.

2. The protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission shall contain the following data:

(a) No. of the copy;
(b) the name of the elections, date of voting;
(c) the word «Protocol»;
(d) the name of the election commission, the number of the electoral precinct, the address of the precinct election commission;
(e) the lines of the protocol:

line 1. The number of voters on the voters list as of the end of voting;
line 2. The number of ballots received by the precinct election commission;
line 3. The number of ballots issued to voters who voted early;
line 4. The number of cancelled ballots;
line 5. The number of ballots issued to voters at the voting premises on voting day;
line 6. The number of ballots issued to voters who voted outside the voting premises;
line 7. The number of ballots in the mobile ballot boxes;
line 8. The number of ballots in the stationary ballot boxes;
line 9. The number of valid ballots;
line 10. The total number of invalidated ballots;
line 11. The number of ballots invalidated on the basis of Clause 14, Article 69 of the Federal Law (if the number of ballots of a standard form found in a mobile ballot box exceeds the number of voters' applications marked to certify receipt of ballots or the number of notes on the voters list indicating that the voter voted early, all ballots for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation contained in the given mobile ballot box shall be invalidated by the decision of the precinct election commission, and this fact shall be certified in a separate record to be appended to the protocol of voting returns);
line 12. The number of invalidated ballots where none of the boxes are marked;
line 13. The number of absentee certificates received by the precinct election commission;
line 14. The number of absentee certificates issued by the precinct election commission to voters of the electoral precinct before voting day;
line 15. The number of voters who voted in the electoral precinct on the basis of absentee certificates;
line 16. The number of unused absentee certificates;
line 17. The number of detachable coupons of absentee certificates cancelled in accordance with Clause 6, Article 65 of the Federal Law

(f) the list of complaints (statements), records, certificates and other documents attached to the protocol;
(g) the names and initials of the chairman, the deputy chairman, the secretary and other members of the election commission and their signatures;
(h) the date and time (hours, minutes) when the protocol was signed;
(i) the seal of the election commission.

3. The following data shall be additionally entered in line 18 and the subsequent lines of the protocol of voting returns in the election of the President of the Russian Federation:

the last name, first name and patronymic of the registered candidates arranged in the alphabetical order, and, if these names coincide, other data of the registered candidates put on the ballot, and the number of votes cast for each registered candidate;
the number of votes cast against all candidates.

4. The following lines have been added to the protocol of the precinct election commission:

line 12a. The number of invalidated ballots in which votes were cast in the course of early voting for a registered candidate who subsequently withdrew from the elections;
line 14a. The number of absentee certificates issued to voters by the territorial election commission.

5. The numerical data shall be entered in all lines of the protocol of voting returns in numerals and in words. The numerals shall be entered into boxes intended for this purpose. If, when the protocol is being completed, the number of numerals in a line is less than four, zeros shall be marked in the free boxes in the beginning of the row. For instance:

If the number to be entered is zero, zeroes shall be marked in all four boxes and the word «zero» shall be written to the right of the zeroes.

Under Clause 6, Article 24 of the Federal Law when electoral precincts are formed to organize voting for and count the votes of voters who, on voting day, stay in the territory of foreign states the requirement to the maximum permissible number of voters (3 thousand) that may registered in the territory of the electoral precinct may be waived. In this case, if the number of numerals in a line is more than four, the digit standing for tens of thousands shall be written to the left of the four boxes.

2.4. Preparation for Vote Counting

1. The votes cast by voters shall be counted by the voting members of the precinct election commission, openly and publicly, .

2. From the time when the precinct election commission begins its work on voting day, including the day of early voting, and up to the time when a message is received from the territorial election commission that it has accepted the protocol of voting returns as well as when votes are re-counted members and representatives of the higher-level election commissions, registered candidates, their agents and authorized representatives for financial matters may be present at polling stations. These persons shall not require any additional permissions of the precinct election commission to be present at its meetings and when it works with electoral documents. Meetings of the precinct election commission may be attended and vote counting and the work of the commission with electoral documents may be observed by media representatives as well as observers, foreign (international) observers. The precinct election commission must allow the said persons to be present at and observe vote counting; these persons shall be provided free access to the premises where the commission is counting votes and working with electoral documents.

3. After the end of voting time (20:00, local time), the chairman of the precinct election commission shall announce that only those voters who are already inside the voting premises may receive ballots and vote. After this, the doors of the voting premises shall be closed. Vote counting shall begin immediately after the end of the voting time and shall continue without interruption until the voting returns are tabulated. These voting returns shall be made known to all members of the precinct election commission and the persons present at vote counting.

4. An enlarged form of the protocol of the precinct election commission shall be posted up at the premises where the votes are being counted. The list of complaints (statements), records, certificates and other documents attached to the protocol and the signatures of the members of the precinct election commission shall not be reproduced on the enlarged form of the protocol. The enlarged form of the protocol shall be placed at the voting premises so that all persons who are allowed to be present at vote counting under the Federal Law could read the voting returns from this form.

The enlarged form of the protocol of voting returns does not replace the protocol of the precinct election commission and the data recorded therein has no legal significance.

5. After all voters who were present at the voting premises when the chairman of the precinct election commission announced the end of voting time cast their votes the chairman, the deputy chairman or the secretary of the precinct election commission shall inform the people present at the voting premises in which votes will be counted that vote counting may be observed by members and representatives of the higher-level election commissions, registered candidates, their agents and authorized representatives for financial matters, media representatives, observers, foreign (international) observers.

Observers and other persons who under the Federal Law may be present at vote counting shall take positions where they can observe the actions of members of the precinct election commission without obstructing their work.

2.5. Announcement of the Sequence of Actions of the Members of the Precinct Election Commission and the Procedure for Their Performance

The chairman of the precinct election commission shall announce to the persons present at vote counting the general sequence of actions of the voting members of the precinct election commission:

1. Counting and cancellation of unused ballots.

2. Work with the voters list.

3. Counting of ballots of the standard form in the mobile ballot boxes (in one box after another).

4. Opening of stationary ballot boxes, sorting out of ballots.

5. Counting of votes from the ballots and verification of the control relationships.

6. Completion of three copies of the protocol, signing of the protocol.

2.6. Checking of Readiness for Vote Counting

Prior to the beginning of vote counting the chairman of the precinct election commission shall make sure that the commission has all the documents listed below, which were drawn up on or before voting day (including documents relating to early voting) as well as the blanks ready for completion:

1. Record of receipt of absentee certificates.

2. Excerpts from the journal of issued absentee certificates certified by the territorial election commission.

3. Applications of voters for issuance of absentee certificates (if any).

4. Powers of attorney for receipt of absentee certificates (if they were produced).

5. Record of receipt by the precinct election commission of ballots for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation.

6. Records of inspection and sealing of empty mobile ballot boxes for early voting (if early voting was conducted).

7. Records of early voting (if early voting was conducted).

8. Records of issuance of ballots to members of the precinct election commission for conducting voting outside the voting premises (if voting outside the voting premises was conducted).

9. Records of voting outside the voting premises (if voting outside the voting premises was conducted).

10. Register of applications of voters for voting outside the voting premises.

11. Applications of voters for voting outside the voting premises (if any).

12. Records of issuance of ballots to voting members of the precinct election commission who will hand out ballots to voters at the voting premises.

13. Records of cancellation of spoilt ballots (if there are spoilt ballots).

14. Records of cancellation of detachable coupons of absentee certificates in accordance with Clause 6, Article 65 of the Federal Law (if detachable coupons were cancelled).

15. Protocols of administrative offences (if such offences were committed).

16. Enlarged form of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission.

17. Register of complaints (statements) about violations of the Federal Law received by the precinct election commission.

18. List of members of the precinct election commission (including non-voting members).

19. List of persons who were present at voting, vote counting and completion of the protocol of voting returns in the election of the President of the Russian Federation (to be completed from the time when the voting premises open).

20. Draft record of invalidation of ballots for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation, which were contained in a mobile ballot box in the event of violations set forth in Clause 14, Article 69 of the Federal Law.

21. Draft record of invalidation of ballots for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation, which were contained in a mobile ballot box in the event of violations set forth in Clause 15, Article 67 of the Federal Law.

22. Draft record of a decision pronouncing ballots to be ballots of a non-standard form.

23. Blanks of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission (in a sufficient number to issue copies of the protocol).

24. Blank of the journal for recording the issuance of certified copies of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission in electoral precinct No. ___ and other documents.

25. Blanks of decisions of the precinct election commission.

26. Blanks of letters of the precinct election commission.

Having made sure that everything is ready for voter counting the chairman of the precinct election commission shall invite voting members of the precinct election commission to start counting votes.

2.7. Cancellation of Ballots, Work with Absentee Certificates and Cancelled Ballots

1. During vote counting and cancellation of ballots, the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to persons present at vote counting the requirements of the Federal Law and the sequence of actions of the members of the precinct election commission at various stages of its work.

2. First of all, the voting members of the precinct election commission shall count unused ballots and cancel them by cutting off the lower left-hand corner (care must be taken to avoid damaging the boxes located on the ballots to the right of the data of registered candidates), announce the number of cancelled ballots obtained by summing up the number of unused ballots and the number of ballots spoilt by voters in the course of voting, and enter this data in line 4 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form.

3. Voting returns, as they come in, may be entered in the enlarged form of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission by the chairman, the deputy chairman, the secretary of the precinct election commission or the voting member of the commission who organizes vote counting.

4. Then members of the precinct election commission shall count and announce the number of unused absentee certificates and enter this number in line 16 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form.

5. If a voter put on the voters list of the given electoral precinct received an absentee certificate and, accordingly, was excluded from the voters list but, on voting day, came to the voting premises of the same electoral precinct, then, under Clause 6, Article 65 of the Federal Law this voter is additionally put on the voters list upon production of the absentee certificate, and the detachable coupon of his/her absentee certificate is withdrawn and cancelled. The detachable coupons of absentee certificates cancelled in pursuance of Clause 6, Article 65 of the Federal Law shall be counted and their number announced and then entered in line 17 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form.

6. The cancelled ballots, detachable coupons and absentee certificates may be examined by non-voting members of the election commission, observers, foreign (international) observers under the supervision of voting members of the precinct election commission.

2.8. Work with the Voters List

1. During work with the voters list, the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to all persons present at vote counting the requirements of the Federal Law and the sequence of actions of the members of the precinct election commission at various stages of its work.

2. Before starting to count votes the voting members of the precinct election commission shall summarize the following data and shall write the summarized data on each sheet of the voters list:

(a) the number of voters on the voters list (minus the voters issued absentee certificates by the territorial and the precinct election commission);
(b) the number of ballots issued to voters at the voting premises of the electoral precinct on voting day (to be established by counting the number of voter signatures on the voters list);
(c) the number of ballots issued to voters who voted outside the voting premises (to be established by counting the number of the corresponding notes on the voters list);
(d) the number of voters who voted early (to be established by counting the number of the corresponding notes on the voters list);
(e) the number of absentee certificates issued to voters by the territorial election commission (to be established by counting the number of the corresponding notes on the voters list and to be verified by reference to the certified excerpt from the journal of issued absentee certificates, received from the territorial election commission);
(f) the number of absentee certificates issued to voters of the electoral precinct by the precinct election commission (to be established by counting the number of the corresponding notes on the voters list);
(g) the number of voters who voted at the voting premises of the electoral precinct on the basis of absentee certificates (to be established by counting the number of the corresponding notes on the voters list). This number shall include the voters who were excluded from the voters list upon receipt of an absentee certificate but then were re-entered on the voters list on voting day when they came to the same voting premises and produced the absentee certificate.

3. After entering the aforementioned data the voting member of the precinct election commission who entered this data shall sign each page of the voters list, sum up and announce the data and pass this data on to the chairman, the deputy chairman or the secretary of the precinct election commission and to persons present at vote counting. The chairman, the deputy chairman or the secretary of the precinct election commission shall write the summarized data, i.e., the sum totals of the data determined for each page, on the last sheet of the voters list and shall certify this data with his/her signature and the seal of the precinct election commission.

To facilitate counting of sum totals for all pages of the voters list special forms may be drawn beforehand to which the summarized data is copied from each page of the voters list. However, in this case, before summation it shall be necessary to make sure that the entries in each page of the voters list are identical with those in the forms to be used for counting sum totals.

If the voters list consists of several volumes, the summarized data for the given volume of the voters list shall be written on the last page of each volume. The summarized data for all pages of the voters list shall be written on the last sheet of the last volume.

4. After that, the voters list shall be made available for examination to members and representatives of the higher-level election commissions, registered candidates, their agents and authorized representatives for financial matters, media representatives, observers, foreign (international) observers.

5. Further work of the precinct election commission shall be organized as follows: the chairman of the precinct election commission shall announce the data, the deputy chairman shall enter this data in the enlarged form of the protocol of voting returns and the secretary of the precinct election commission shall enter the data in the protocol of voting returns.

6. After the persons present at vote counting examine the voters list the following data shall be checked, announced and entered in lines 1 and 2 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form:

line 1. The number of voters on the voters list as of the end of voting;
line 2. The number of ballots received by the precinct election commission. This number shall be indicated in the protocol of the precinct election commission on the basis of the record of receipt of ballots, signed by the chairmen of the territorial and the given precinct election commission. In exceptional cases, if the precinct election commission of an electoral precinct formed in a remote, hard-to-reach locality, on a ship at sea on voting day, on a polar station printed the required number of ballots using its own technical facilities, as provided by Clause 6, Article 63 of the Federal Law, the number of such ballots shall also be indicated in line 2 of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission.

7. The following data shall be announced and entered in lines 13, 14, 15 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form:

line 13. The number of absentee certificates received by the precinct election commission (this number is obtained from the record of receipt of absentee certificates by the precinct election commission);
line 14. The number of absentee certificates issued by the precinct election commission to voters of the electoral precinct;
line 15. The number of voters who voted in the electoral precinct on the basis of absentee certificates.

8. The number of absentee certificates issued to voters by the territorial election commission shall be announced and entered in line 14a of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form.

9. Then, the following data shall be entered in lines 5, 6 and 3 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form:

line 5. The number of ballots issued to voters at the voting premises of the electoral precinct on voting day;
line 6. The number of ballots issued to voters who voted outside the voting premises;
line 3. The number of ballots issued to voters who voted early in accordance with Clauses 2 - 9, Article 66 of the Federal Law (early voting conducted for groups of voters on polar stations, in remote or hard-to-reach localities, etc.).

10. After that, the chairman or the secretary of the precinct election commission shall make arrangements for the safekeeping of the voters to prevent access to the voters list for persons who participated in vote counting. No further work may be carried out on the voters list until the control relationships of the data entered in the protocol of voting returns have been checked.

2.9. Vote Counting Procedure

1. Before commencement of vote counting the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to the persons present at vote counting the requirements to vote counting laid down by the Federal Law.

2. Votes cast by voters shall be counted by the voting members of the precinct election commission from the ballots contained in the ballot boxes.

3. Vote counting shall be carried out at the voting premises in places fitted out so as to be accessible for the voting and non-voting members of the precinct election commission. While counting votes members of the precinct election commission, with the exception of the chairman (the deputy chairman) and the secretary of the precinct election commission shall not use any writing utensils. At such time, all persons present at vote counting must be able to observe the actions of members of the precinct election commission.

4. In the course of vote counting the precinct election commission shall separate ballots of non-standard form , i.e., ballots which have not been printed officially and have not been certified by the election commission. Such ballots shall be disregarded in vote counting and shall be packed in a separate bundle. If the precinct election commission finds any non-standard ballots in mobile or stationary ballot boxes, the commission shall draw up a record to this effect stating the number of the found ballots of non-standard form and the reason (reasons) why these ballots are regarded as non-standard. This record together with the first copy of the protocol of the precinct election commission shall be forwarded to the territorial election commission.

2.10. Counting of Ballots in Mobile Ballot Boxes

1. While ballots in the mobile ballot boxes are being counted the Chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to the persons present at vote counting the sequence of actions of the members of the precinct election commission and the rules for completing protocol lines 7 and 11.

2. At first, ballots shall be counted in the mobile ballot boxes: first in the boxes containing ballots left by voters who voted early, then in the boxes containing ballots left by voters who voted outside the voting premises on voting day.

3. Before each mobile ballot box is opened the number of voters who voted using the given mobile ballot box shall be announced. The members of the precinct election commission must remember that under Clause 15, Article 67 of the Federal Law all ballots in a mobile ballot box shall be invalidated if voting outside the voting premises with the use of the given mobile box was conducted by one voting member of the precinct election commission; if, in the event of such voting, at least two persons from among non-voting members of the precinct election commission and observers appointed by different registered candidates were not offered equal opportunities with the voting members of the commission who conducted the voting to come to the place where the voting was conducted; if voters were allowed to vote outside the voting premises although their names were not entered in the register of voters' applications for voting outside the voting premises.

4. Then the chairman of the precinct election commission shall ask the commission members and other persons present at vote counting to check the integrity of the seals on the mobile boxes.

5. Ballots shall be counted in such a way as to avoid violating the secrecy of voting, with non-standard ballots being placed separately. The number of standard ballots taken out of the mobile ballot boxes shall be announced and entered in line 7 of the enlarged form of the protocol of voting returns (only the summary data for all ballot boxes shall be entered in line 7 of the protocol itself). If the number of standard ballots found in a mobile ballot box does not exceed the previously announced number of voters who voted with the use of the given mobile ballot box, the precinct election commission shall proceed to open the next mobile ballot box.

6. If, after the data has been announced and entered in line 7 of the enlarged form of the protocol (only the summary data for all ballot boxes shall be entered in line 7 of the protocol itself), it is established that the number of standard ballots found in the given mobile ballot box is larger than the number of notes on the voters list indicating that the voters voted early or larger than the number of applications of voters marked to certify receipt of ballots, all ballots in the given mobile ballot box shall be invalidated by the decision of the precinct election commission and a special record to be drawn up to this effect shall be attached to the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission. The record must indicate the surnames and initials of the members of the precinct election commission who conducted early voting or voting outside the voting premises using this mobile ballot box. The number of ballots thus invalidated shall be announced and entered in line 11 of the enlarged form of the protocol of voting returns (only the summary data for all mobile ballot boxes shall be entered in line 11 of the protocol itself). These ballots shall be disregarded in vote counting and shall be packed in a separate sealed bundle.

7. After opening all mobile ballot boxes the precinct election commission shall sum up the data for all mobile ballot boxes, announce this data and complete lines 7 and 11 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form. Then the precinct election commission shall proceed to opening the stationary ballot boxes.

2.11. Opening of Stationary Ballot Boxes. Sorting out of Ballots

1. Before the stationary ballot boxes are opened the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to all persons present at vote counting the requirements of the Federal Law and the sequence of actions of the commission members in the course of further work with ballots.

2. The stationary ballot boxes shall be opened after their seals have been checked for integrity.

3. After the stationary ballot boxes have been opened, voting members of the precinct election commission shall mix the ballots taken out of these boxes with the ballots taken out of the mobile ballot boxes.

4. If repeat elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the third convocation, elections to the bodies of state power of the Subject of the Russian Federation, elections to bodies of local self-government are held simultaneously with the election of the President of the Russian Federation, ballots used in these election shall be sorted out into separate bundles. In this case, first it shall be necessary to count votes cast by voters in the election of the President of the Russian Federation. Only after the protocol of voting returns in the election of the President of the Russian Federation has been completed and signed the precinct election commission may proceed to completing the protocol of voting returns in the repeat elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the third convocation, elections to the bodies of state power of the Subject of the Russian Federation, elections to bodies of local self-government. Simultaneous counting of votes in the election of the President of the Russian Federation, repeat elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the third convocation, elections to the bodies of state power of the Subject of the Russian Federation, elections to bodies of local self-government shall not be allowed.

5. Before processing the ballots in the election of the President of the Russian Federation the members of the precinct election commission must make sure that the bundles of ballots used in the repeat elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the third convocation, elections to the bodies of state power of the Subject of the Russian Federation or elections to bodies of local self-government do not contain ballots used in the election of the President of the Russian Federation.

2.12. Counting of Votes and Completion of the Protocol of Voting Returns

1. Before the precinct election commission begins to sort out the ballots for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to all persons present at vote counting the sequence of actions of the commission members and the requirements of the Federal Law concerning the work with invalid ballots.

2. For the convenience in sorting out the ballots use may be made of labels bearing the names of registered candidates and the words «Invalid ballots,» Ballots of non-standard form.»

3. The voting members of the precinct election commission shall sort out the ballots taken out of the mobile and stationary ballot boxes into separate bundles according to the votes cast for each registered candidate and against all candidates; at the same time, they shall separate ballots of non-standard form and invalid ballots.

4. While sorting out the ballots, the voting members of the precinct election commission shall read aloud the notes made by voters on ballots and shall show ballots to all persons present at vote counting. Sorting out of ballots may be carried out by two or more groups of the voting members of the precinct election commission but the notes on two and more ballots shall not be read aloud simultaneously.

5. After the ballots have been sorted out, the votes cast by voters shall be counted from ballots of the standard form. Not less than two voting members of the precinct election commission shall count the ballots separately for each registered candidate for whom votes were cast and ballots in which votes were cast «Against all candidates.» The counts shall be announced and then entered in line 18 and the subsequent lines of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form.

6. Invalid ballots shall be counted and summed up separately. The total number of invalid ballots, including the ballots invalidated on the basis of Clause 14, Article 69 of the Federal Law (i.e., the ballots taken out of a mobile ballot box and invalidated because their number exceeded the number of notes on the voters list indicating that the voter had voted early or the number of applications from voters, marked to certify receipt of a ballot) as well as the ballots invalidated on the basis of Clause 15, Article 67 of the Federal Law shall be announced and entered in line 10 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form. The number of invalid ballots where none of the options are marked shall be entered in line 12 of the protocol and its enlarged form. Ballots shall be invalidated if they make it impossible to establish the expression of a voter's will, specifically, if a mark (marks) was (were) put in more than one box or in none of the boxes.

7. If any doubts arise as to invalidation of a ballot, the precinct election commission shall decide the matter by voting and the reasons why the ballot was invalidated shall be written on the back of the ballot. This inscription shall be certified by the signatures of not less than three voting members of the precinct commission and by the commission seal.

2.13. Actions of the Precinct Election Commission In Respect of Votes Cast by Voters for a Registered Candidate Who Withdrew from the Elections Before or During Early Voting Period

1. If early voting was conducted in the electoral precinct for various groups of voters and if one of or several registered candidates withdrew from the elections after early voting had begun, a representative of the precinct election commission shall explain to all persons present at vote counting what should be done with ballots in which voters marked the boxes to the right of the name of the registered candidate who withdrew from the elections after or during the early voting period.

2. In a situation where a registered candidate withdrew from the elections after or during the early voting period and early voting was conducted in the electoral precinct among various groups of voters in accordance with the rules set forth in Clauses 2 - 9, Article 66 of the Federal Law, the precinct election commission tabulating the voting returns shall sort out the ballots in accordance with the votes, including those cast for the said registered candidate and then shall take a decision to invalidate these ballots (Annex 1). This decision shall be attached to the protocol of voting returns.

The total number of ballots invalidated for this reason shall be entered in the protocol in separate line 12a «Number of invalidated ballots in which votes were cast in the course of early voting for a registered candidate who subsequently withdrew from the elections.» Then this number shall be summed up with the number of other invalid ballots and entered in line 10 of the protocol and its enlarged form.

3. If two or more candidates withdrew from the elections as indicated above, the numbers of invalidated ballots in which voters cast their votes for these registered candidates shall be summed up.

4. The ballots invalidated for the aforementioned reason shall be packed in separate bundles in accordance with the withdrawn registered candidates and shall be sealed as provided by Clause 23, Article 69 of the Federal Law.

2.14. Completion of Lines 8 and 9 of the Protocol of Voting Returns, Examination of Sorted out Ballots

1. Before lines 8 and 9 of the protocol of voting returns are completed the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to all persons present at vote counting the requirements of the Federal Law to their completion.

2. The voting members of the precinct election commission shall sum up the data of line 18 and the subsequent lines of the protocol of voting returns, announce the number of valid ballots and enter this number in line 9 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form.

3. The voting members of the precinct election commission shall determine the number of standard ballots which were contained in the stationary ballot boxes by subtracting the data of line 7 from the sum of the data of lines 9 and 10, announce this number and enter it in line 8 of the protocol of voting returns and its enlarged form.

4. Non-voting members of the precinct election commission, observers, foreign (international) observers may examine sorted out ballots under the supervision of voting members of the precinct election commission.

2.15. Checking of Control Relationships

1. While the control relationships are being checked the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain the relevant checking procedure to all persons present at vote counting.

2. After the ballots have been counted, it is necessary to check the control relationships between the data entered in the protocol of voting returns (the numerals indicate the protocol lines numbered in accordance with Article 68 of the Federal Law):

1 is larger than or equal to 3+5+6;
2 is equal to 3+4+5+6;
7+8 is equal to 9+10;
9 is equal to 18 + all subsequent lines of the protocol.

Since the most common error is the difference between the same data written in digits and in words, prior to the check of the control relationships it shall be necessary to verify the coincidence of the entries written in the lines of the protocol in digits and in words.

3. If the control relationships are not complied with (the first and the second control relationship) the precinct election commission shall take a decision to re-count the data of all or some of the lines of the protocol of voting returns, including re-counting of ballots. In the event of non-coincidence of the third or the fourth control relationship it shall be necessary to re-count the data in line 8 or line 9. If changes have to be made in the protocol of voting returns as a result of re-counting, a new blank of the protocol shall be completed and the necessary changes shall be made in the enlarged form of the protocol. In this case, the word «Erroneous» shall be written on each page of the old blank.

4. After that the control relationships shall be checked again.

5. If the check shows non-coincidence of the control relationships, the precinct election commission must find out the reason for the non-coincidence: arithmetical mistake or a slip of the pen, loss of electoral documents, excessive number of ballots.

6. If in the course of the check the precinct election commission comes to the conclusion that the required number of ballots has been exceeded, the commission shall check all ballots once again for compliance with the standard form, verify the imprint of the seal and the signatures of members of the precinct election commission who certified ballots and check the accuracy of the record of acceptance of ballots from the territorial election commission. If these checks do not alter the aforementioned preliminary conclusion of the precinct election commission, the commission shall draw up a statement certifying the fact that the required number of ballots has been exceeded and shall forward this statement to the territorial election commission.

7. If in the course of the check the precinct election commission comes to the conclusion that a loss of electoral documents has occurred, the commission shall once again check the ballots which were earlier pronounced to be ballots of non-standard form and verify the accuracy of the record of acceptance of ballots (or absentee certificates) from the territorial election commission. If these checks do not alter the aforementioned preliminary conclusion of the precinct election commission, the commission shall draw up a statement certifying the loss of ballots or absentee certificates and shall forward this statement to the territorial election commission. The precinct election commission may decide to raise this matter with the law enforcement bodies.

8. In the event of repeat voting, when checking the control relationships the precinct election commission must take into account the provisions of Subpara. 5, Para. 2.20 of this Instruction.

2.16. Packing of Ballots and Absentee Certificates

1. After vote counting is completed the ballots with the marked boxes to the right of the data of registered candidates shall be packed in separate bundles according to registered candidates. Ballots with the marked box to the right of the line «Against all candidates,» invalid and cancelled ballots, cancelled ballots spoilt by voters as well as ballots of non-standard form, detachable coupons of absentee certificates, cancelled detachable coupons of absentee certificates withdrawn from voters (in the event of repeat voting - absentee certificates, cancelled absentee certificates withdrawn from voters, cancelled unused absentee certificates) shall be packed in separate bundles.

It must be borne in mind that in the event of the general elections unused absentee certificates shall not be cancelled and shall not be packed: they shall be kept separately until the results of the general elections are established. Further actions with absentee certificates shall be carried out in accordance with Clause 8, Article 64 of the Federal Law.

2. Each bundle shall be marked to indicate the number of detachable coupons (in the event of repeat voting - the number of absentee certificates), the number of ballots contained in the bundle, the name of the registered candidate marked in the ballots. Other bundles shall be marked as follows: «Invalid ballots (with the indication of the reasons for their invalidation)»; «Against all candidates»; «Ballots of non-standard form,» etc.

3. The bundles of ballots and detachable coupons of absentee certificates shall be put in bags or boxes which shall be marked to indicate the number of the electoral precinct and the quantity of ballots. The bags or boxes shall be sealed and may be opened only by the decision of a higher-level election commission or a court of law. Voting members of the precinct election commission may put their signatures on these bags or boxes.

4. While the ballots are being packed the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to all persons present at vote counting the requirements of the Federal Law to this work.

2.17. Signing of the Protocol of the Precinct Election Commission

1. Before completing the section of the protocol «The list of complaints (statements), records, certificates and other documents attached to the protocol» the chairman of the precinct election commission shall announce to all persons present at vote counting the information concerning the complaints (statements) received by the precinct election commission and the decisions taken by the commission thereon, list the records, certificates and other documents attached to the protocol, ask the persons present at vote counting if they have any remarks, complaints about the actions of the commission (if necessary, the commission shall adjudicate the complaint and take an appropriate decision thereon). After this, the register of complaints (statements) shall be signed and the section of the protocol «The list of complaints (statements), records, certificates and other documents attached to the protocol» shall be completed.

2. Before signing the protocol of voting returns the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to the persons present at vote counting the requirements of the Federal Law to further actions of the members of the precinct election commission.

3. The protocol of voting returns shall be completed in three copies and signed by all voting members of the precinct election commission in attendance. Each copy of the protocol of the precinct election commission shall be sealed with the seal of the precinct election commission

4. If some voting members of the precinct election commission are absent when the protocol of voting returns is being completed, a brief note to this effect shall be made in the protocol by the chairman, the deputy chairman or the secretary of the precinct election commission indicating the reason for their absence (for instance: «sick,» «business trip,» etc.). This note shall be signed by, respectively, the chairman, the deputy chairman or the secretary of the precinct election commission. The protocol shall be valid if signed by the majority of the established number of voting members of the precinct election commission.

5. It is not allowed to complete the protocol of voting returns with a pencil or make any corrections therein. At the signing of the protocol voting members of the precinct election commission who do not agree with the contents of the protocol may attach their written dissenting opinion to the protocol and a note to this effect shall be made in the protocol.

6. After the protocol has been signed the precinct election commission shall take a decision to approve the protocol of voting returns.

2.18. Work with the Protocol of the Precinct Election Commission After Its Signing

1. After the protocol of voting returns has been signed the chairman of the precinct election commission shall explain to persons present at vote counting the sequence of further actions of the members of the precinct election commission and the relevant requirements of the Federal Law.

2. Upon the request of any member of the precinct election commission, members and representative of the higher-level election commissions, registered candidates, their agents and authorized representatives for financial matters, media representatives, observers, foreign (international) observers present at vote counting, immediately after the protocol of voting returns was signed the precinct election commission shall provide a certified copy of the protocol of voting returns to these persons or allow these persons to make copies of the protocol and have these copies certified.

3. The copies of the protocol shall be certified by the chairman (or, in his absence, by the deputy chairman or the secretary) of the precinct election commission. When doing this, these persons must make sure that the data of the copies of the protocol corresponds to the data contained in the official first copy of the protocol of voting returns signed by all voting members of the precinct election commission in attendance. After this the certifying official shall write the words «This is a true copy,» sign the copy, write the date and time (hours, minutes) of certification and seal the copy with the seal of the precinct election commission.

4. After the first copy of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission has been signed by all voting members of the precinct election commission in attendance and after its copies were, on their request, issued to or certified for all persons present at vote counting - members and representatives of the higher-level election commissions, registered candidates, their agents and authorized representatives for financial matters, media representatives, observers, foreign (international) observers, the first copy of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission shall, without delay, be forwarded to the territorial commission and shall not be returned to the precinct election commission. After the territorial election commission checks the data contained in the protocol of voting returns this data shall be entered into the SAS «Vybory.»

5. The following documents shall be attached to the first copy of the protocol of voting returns: the dissenting opinions of voting members of the precinct election commission; the complaints (statements) about violations of this Federal Law received by the precinct election commission and the commission's decisions taken thereon; records, certificates, statements, journals and registers drawn up by the commission; if necessary, other decisions of the precinct election commission. The certified copies of these documents and of the decisions of the precinct election commission shall be attached to the second copy of the protocol.

6. The second copy of the protocol together with the electoral documentation prescribed by the Federal Law, including sealed ballots, detachable coupons of absentee certificates and lists of non-voting members of the precinct election commission, persons who were present at tabulation of voting returns and completion of the protocol, as well as the seal of the precinct election commission shall be kept by the secretary of the precinct election commission under a seal in a guarded room until the commission finishes its work. The electoral documentation, including the ballots, shall be handed over to the territorial commissions not earlier than the date of official publication of the general election results and not later than five days after this date.

7. The third copy of the protocol (or a copy of the third copy) shall be made available for examination to members and representatives of the higher-level election commissions, registered candidates, their agents and authorized representatives for financial matters, media representatives, observers, foreign (international) observers who were present at vote counting. Then it shall be posted up for examination by the general public in a place designated by the precinct election commission, for not more than five days after voting day, after which it shall be transferred to the territorial election commission. The territorial election commission shall keep this copy of the protocol until the expiry of its powers and then shall transfer it to the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation.

8. Having transmitted the data of the protocol of voting returns to the territorial election commission via technical communication channels the precinct election commissions of electoral precincts formed on ships at sea, on polar stations, in remote and hard-to-reach localities, shall, at the earliest opportunity, forward the first, second and third copies of the protocol together with the required electoral documentation to the territorial election commission or the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation, depending on the elapsed time, either directly or by any other means ensuring preservation of the electoral documentation.

Having transmitted the data of the protocol of voting returns via technical communication channels the precinct election commissions of electoral precincts formed outside the territory of the Russian Federation shall, at the earliest opportunity, forward the first, second and third copies of the protocol together with the required electoral documentation to the CEC of Russia, either directly or via diplomatic and consular missions of the Russian Federation or by any other means ensuring preservation of the electoral documentation.

9. If, after the protocol of voting returns has been signed and its first copy was delivered to the territorial election commission, the precinct election commission which completed the protocol detects inaccuracies therein (a slip of the pen, a misprint or an error in data summation) it must consider at its meeting the question of making corrections in the protocol. In its notice of this meeting to be served on the territorial election commission, registered candidates, their agents and authorized representatives for financial matters the precinct election commission must state that it is going to consider this matter at the meeting.

The decision taken by the precinct election commission shall be made known by the commission to its non-voting members, observers and other persons who were present when the previously approved protocol of voting returns was completed as well as to media representatives. In this case, the precinct election commission shall complete a new protocol of voting returns and mark it with the word «Corrected.» The first copy of this protocol shall be promptly forwarded to the territorial election commission.

2.19. Use of the Technical Facilities for Vote Counting, the Technical System for Transmission of Election-Related Information

1. Given the availability of the necessary equipment and subject to the appropriate decision of the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation and to the approval by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation of the use of technical devices (including ballot scanners) for vote counting, the territorial election commission shall determine electoral precincts where such technical devices are to be used. The voting returns tabulated with the aid of such technical devices shall be regarded as preliminary information which has no legal significance.

2. When technical devices (including ballot scanners) are used for vote counting, it is forbidden to disclose any vote counting data until the end of voting at the voting premises, with the exception of the voter turnout data.

3. If the necessary equipment is available (fax, radio communication), immediately after the protocol of voting returns has been signed by the members of precinct election commissions formed in electoral precincts on ships at sea, on polar stations, in remote or hard-to-reach localities or outside the territory of the Russian Federation the data of the protocol shall be transmitted via technical communication channels to the higher-level election commission. It is mandatory that subsequently, at the earliest opportunity, the first copy of the protocol of voting returns and all electoral documentation, including ballots, be transferred to the higher-level election commission, either directly or through diplomatic and consular missions of the Russian Federation or by some other means ensuring preservation of the electoral documentation and its proper delivery.

2.20. Organization of the Work of the Precinct Election Commission When Repeat Voting Is Declared in the Election of the President of the Russian Federation

1. If, in pursuance of Article 73 of the Federal Law the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation declares repeat voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation, the precinct and territorial election commissions of the Subjects of the Russian Federation shall tabulate voting returns, complete protocols of election commissions, receive, transmit and process information with the use of the State Automated System of the Russian Federation «Vybory» in a procedure established by this Instruction, taking into account special requirements to the work with absentee certificates and detachable coupons of absentee certificates in repeat voting.

In particular, immediately after repeat voting has been declared and after the precinct election commission receives the second copy of the voters list from the territorial election commission for conducting repeat voting notes shall be copied to this voters list from its first copy indicating the voters who have received absentee certificates (both in the territorial election commission and in the given precinct election commission prior to March 26, 2000 - voting day in the general elections);
in line 13 of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission the commission shall indicate the number of absentee certificates which it received before March 26, 2000 - voting day in the general elections. If, after repeat voting was declared, the precinct election commission received any absentee certificates from the territorial election commission, the total number of absentee certificates shall be indicated in line 13;
in line 14 of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission the commission shall indicate the total number of absentee certificates issued by the precinct election commission to voters of the given electoral precinct before March 26, 2000 - voting day in the general elections, and before the day preceding the day of repeat voting;
in line 14a of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission the commission shall indicate the number of absentee certificates issued to voters of the given electoral precinct by the territorial election commission before March 26, 2000 - voting day in the general elections;
in line 15 of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission the commission shall indicate the number of voters who voted on the basis of absentee certificates in the electoral precinct on the day of repeat voting;
in line 16 of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission the commission shall indicate the number of cancelled unused absentee certificates (unused absentee certificates must be cancelled on the day of repeat voting before voting begins);
in line 17 of the protocol of voting returns of the precinct election commission the commission shall indicate the number of absentee certificates cancelled in accordance with Clause 6, Article 65 of the Federal Law.

2. It must be borne in mind that in the period from the day on which the CEC of Russia declares repeat voting to the day preceding the day of repeat voting a voter may receive an absentee certificate in the precinct election commission. In this case, an absentee certificate shall be issued to the voter with its detachable coupon removed. Detachable coupons of such absentee certificates shall be kept until voting day and shall be cancelled on the day of repeat voting before voting time begins (as a rule, this is done by cutting off the top left-hand corner of the detachable coupon, taking care not to damage the number of the absentee certificate shown on the detachable coupon). The precinct election commission shall draw up a record to certify cancellation of these detachable coupons.

3. On the day of repeat voting, before voting time begins, unused absentee certificates together with detachable coupons shall be cancelled, as a rule, by cutting off the top left-hand corner of the absentee certificate, taking care not to damage the number of the absentee certificate. After that, the precinct election commission shall draw up a record to certify cancellation of unused absentee certificates.

4. If the President of the Russian Federation is elected as a result of the general elections or if the general elections of the President of the Russian Federation are declared not to have taken place or null and void, unused absentee certificates together with detachable coupons shall be cancelled by the precinct election commission on the third day after official publication of the results of the general elections.

5. It is recommended that before the precinct election commission signs the protocol of voting returns in repeat voting the data entered into lines 13, 14, 14a, 15, 16, 17 be analyzed and compared with the data of the protocol of voting returns. In this case:

the figure in line 13 of the protocol of voting returns in repeat voting must be equal to the figure in line 13 of the protocol of voting returns (it may exceed this figure only if the precinct election commission received additional blanks of absentee certificates in the period from the day of general elections to the day preceding the day of repeat voting);
the figure in line 14 of the protocol of voting returns in repeat voting must be equal to the figure in line 14 of the protocol of voting returns (it may exceed this figure only if the precinct election commission issued any absentee certificates to voters in the period from the day of general elections to the day preceding the day of repeat voting);
the figure in line 14a of the protocol of voting returns in repeat voting must be equal to the figure in line 14a of the protocol of voting returns because in the period from the day of general elections to the day preceding the day of repeat voting absentee certificates are issued to voters only by the precinct election commission;
the figure in line 15 of the protocol of voting returns in repeat voting is calculated only on the basis of voting returns in repeat voting and is not correlated with the figure in line 15 of the protocol of voting returns;
the figure in line 16 of the protocol of voting returns in repeat voting may be equal to the figure in line 16 of the protocol of voting returns only if the precinct election commission issued no absentee certificates to voters in the period from the day of general elections to the day preceding the day of repeat voting, or it must be smaller than the figure in line 16 of the protocol of voting returns by the number of absentee certificates which the precinct election commission issued to voters in the period from the day of general elections to the day preceding the day of repeat voting;
the figure in line 17 of the protocol of voting returns in repeat voting is calculated only on the basis of voting returns in repeat voting and is not correlated with the figure in line 17 of the protocol of voting returns.

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