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. I (1769-1821), 18041814 1815 ,


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22.10.2020, . 21:18


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Chapter II. Election Commissions

Article 12. System and Status of Election Commissions for the Election of the President of the Russian Federation

Article 13. Formation of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, Election Commissions of the Subjects of the Russian Federation

Article 14. Formation of Territorial and Precinct Election Commissions

Article 15. Appointment of Non-Voting Members of an Election Commission

Article 16. Status of Election Commission Members

Article 17. Powers of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation

Article 18. Powers of the Election Commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation

Article 19. Powers of a Territorial Election Commission (Raion, City and Other Election Commissions)

Article 20. Powers of a Precinct Election Commission

Article 21. Openness in the Activity of Election Commissions

Article 22. Foreign (International) Observers

Article 23. Organization of the Activity of Election Commissions


ARTICLE 12. System and Status of Election Commissions for the Election of the President of the Russian Federation

1. The election of the President of the Russian Federation shall be prepared and conducted by: the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation; the election commissions of the Subjects of the Russian Federation; territorial (rayon, city and other) election commissions; precinct election commissions.

2. In the election of the President of the Russian Federation the powers and operating procedures of election commissions shall be established by the Federal Law On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum, this Federal law and other federal laws.

3. Decisions of a higher-level election commission for the election of the President of the Russian Federation taken within the scope of its competence shall be binding on the lower-level election commissions.

4. Election commissions for the election the President of the Russian Federation shall, within the scope of their competence, consider complaints which they receive in the course of the election campaign about violations of this Federal Law, other federal laws as regards the preparation and conduct of the election, check these complaints and give written answers to the complainants within five days but not later than the day preceding voting day and, on voting day and the day which follows voting day, immediately. If the facts cited in the complaints require additional verification, decisions thereon shall be taken within ten days. Election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation may apply to law enforcement bodies and request them to investigate and stop violations of this Federal Law, other federal laws in the preparation and conduct of the election. Within five days, but not later than the day preceding voting day and, on voting day and on the day which follows voting day, immediately, the law enforcement bodies shall take measures prescribed by law to stop such violations. If the facts cited in a complaint require additional verification, such measures shall be taken within ten days.

5. Election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation shall inform voters about the periods and procedure for the performance of electoral actions, the progress of the election campaign, the candidates, registered candidates.

6. A decision of an election commission for the election of the President of the Russian Federation which conflicts with federal laws or which has been taken in excess of the commission's powers shall be revoked by a higher-level election commission for the election of he President of the Russian Federation or by a court of law. In this case, the higher-level election commission shall be entitled to take a decision on the substance of the matter.

7. State bodies, state institutions and their officials shall assist election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation in the exercise of their powers, specifically, they shall, free of charge, provide the necessary premises and make security arrangements with regard thereto; ensure safekeeping of ballots, absentee certificates for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation and other electoral documentation; supply transport and communication facilities, technical equipment, information and materials; respond to the requests of election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation within five days or, during five days prior to and on voting day, immediately. Organizations which have a state share in their charter (authorized) capital exceeding 30 per cent thereof as of the day on which the decision to call (hold) the election was officially published and bodies of local self-government shall assist election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation in the exercise of their powers, specifically, they shall provide the necessary premises, transport and communications facilities, technical equipment, information and materials; respond to requests of election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation within five days or, during five days prior to and on voting day, immediately. Organization which carry out TV and/or radio broadcasting (hereafter TV and radio broadcasting organizations), editorial offices of periodicals indicated in Sub-clauses a - d Clause 1 Article 47 of this Federal Law shall provide a possibility to election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation to publish information and shall grant them free air time to communicate information to voters in a procedure established by this Federal Law, other federal laws.

8. Organizations, including TV and radio broadcasting organizations, editorial offices of periodicals which are not indicated in Sub-clauses a - d Clause 7 of this Article, their officials as well as public associations shall provide the necessary information and documents to election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation, respond to requests of election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation within five days or, during five days prior to and on election day, immediately.

ARTICLE 13. Formation of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, Election Commissions of the Subjects of the Russian Federation

1. The Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, election commissions of the Subjects of the Russian Federation shall be formed in compliance with the Federal Law On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum.

2. If the legislative (representative) and executive bodies of power of a Subject of the Russian Federation have not appointed the members or some of the members of the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation in a procedure and within the period established by the Federal Law On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum, all 14 voting members or some of voting members of this election commission shall be appointed by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation in compliance with the requirements established by the said Federal Law. If formed by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation the election commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation consisting of 14 voting members shall be appointed for a term of four years.

ARTICLE 14. Formation of Territorial and Precinct Election Commissions

1. A territorial (raion, city and other) election commission consisting of five to nine voting members shall be formed not earlier than 70 and not later than 60 days prior to voting day by the representative body (representative bodies) of local self-government on the basis of proposals from electoral associations, electoral blocs, public associations, meetings of voters at the place of their residence, work, service, study, the territorial election commission of the previous convocation, if it acted on a permanent basis. By a decision of the election commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation agreed with the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation several territorial election commissions shall be formed within one territorial-administrative unit with a large number of voters. If the law of a Subject of the Russian Federation, the charter of a municipal unit provides, in accordance with the Federal Law On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum, that a territorial election commission shall operate on a permanent basis, the election commission of the given Subject of the Russian Federation may, with the concurrence of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, confer the powers of a territorial election commission for the election of the President of the Russian Federation on the said election commission. The list of territorial election commissions formed in the territory of a Subject of the Russian Federation shall be approved by the election commission of this Subject of the Russian Federation taking into account the administrative-territorial division of the Subject of the Russian Federation and the location of the automation facilities of the state automated information system. The list of territorial election commissions shall be approved not later than 80 days prior to voting day and, within three days of its approval, shall be submitted to the representative bodies of local self-government and published in the mass media indicated in Sub-clause e Clause 1 Article 47 of this Federal Law.

2. A precinct election commissions shall be formed within a period which commences not later than three days after formation of the given electoral precinct and expires 27 days prior to voting day or, in exceptional cases, not later than two days prior to voting day by the representative body (representative bodies) of local self-government on the basis of proposals from electoral associations, electoral blocs, public associations, meetings of voters at the place of their residence, work, service, study and shall consist of the following number of members depending on the number of voters registered in the territory of the electoral precinct:

    up to 1,000 voters - 3 to 7 voting members of the election commission;

    from 1,001 to 2,000 voters - 5 to 11 voting members of the election commission;

    over 2,000 voters - 5 to 15 voting members of the election commission.

3. If voting day in the election of the President of the Russian Federation coincides with voting day in the election of federal bodies of state power, bodies of state power of Subjects of the Russian Federation, bodies of local self-government, the maximum number of voting members of a precinct election commission indicated in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Article may be increased but by not more than four members. Additional labor remuneration for these members of the election commission shall be paid from the appropriate budget.

4. The representative body (representative bodies) of local self-government shall appoint not less than one-third of the members of a territorial, precinct election commission on the basis of proposals from each electoral association, electoral bloc which has a faction in the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and also on the basis of proposals from each electoral association, electoral bloc which has a faction in the legislative (representative) body of state power of the given Subject of the Russian Federation and/or in the representative body (representative bodies) of local self-government, or on the basis of proposals from other political public associations, if the electoral associations, electoral blocs do not propose the required number of commission members. Not more than one representative shall be appointed to the election commission from each electoral association, electoral bloc, other political public associations.

5. If two or more representative bodies of local self-government take part in the formation of a territorial, precinct election commission, the decision-making procedure in respect of the membership of the election commission shall be established by the said representative bodies at their own discretion in compliance with the requirements of this Federal Law.

6. If the powers of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, legislative (representative) body of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation, representative body of local self-government are terminated before expiration of their term, the right to make proposals concerning membership of a territorial, precinct election commission shall be retained by the electoral associations, electoral blocs which had factions in the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, legislative (representative) body of state power of the Subject of the Russian Federation, representative body of local self-government of the last convocation.

7. Government and municipal employees shall not account for more than one-third of the total number of members of a territorial, precinct election commission.

8. If the representative body (representative bodies) of local self-government has (have) not appointed any or some of members of a territorial, precinct election commission within the period established by Clauses 1 and 2 of this Article or if there is no representative body of local self-government in the given territory, a territorial election commission shall be formed or some of its members shall be appointed by the election commission of the given Subject of the Russian Federation, and a precinct election commission shall be formed or some of its members shall be appointed by the appropriate territorial commission in compliance with the requirements of this Federal Law.

9. In an electoral precinct formed at a polar station, on a ship at sea or in the territory of a military unit stationed in an isolated locality far from populated centers members of a precinct election commissions shall be appointed on the basis of a decision of the meeting of voters of the labor or military collective by the head of the polar station, the ship's captain, the commanding officer of the military unit within a period established by Clause 2 of this Article and, in exceptional cases, not later than five days prior to voting day.

10. In an electoral precinct formed outside the territory of the Russian Federation members of the precinct election commission shall be appointed within a period established by Clause 2 of this Article by the head of the diplomatic or consular mission of the Russian Federation or by the commanding officer of the military unit stationed outside the territory of the Russian Federation.

11. In the Subjects of the Russian Federation where the system of bodies of state power provides for the formation of territorial bodies of state power of raions and other administrative-territorial units territorial election commissions shall be formed by the representative and executive bodies of state power in a procedure established by this Article. One half of the members of the election commission shall be appointed by the representative body of state power and the other half by the executive body of state power.

ARTICLE 15. Appointment of Non-Voting Members of an Election Commission

1. Each registered candidate shall be entitled to appoint one non-voting member to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, to each election commission of the Subjects of the Russian Federation, to each territorial, precinct election commission. A registered candidate may ask his/her authorized representative to appoint a non-voting member of a territorial, precinct election commission.

2. Non-voting members of an election commission shall be issued certificates of the form established by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation. On their request the administration (employer) shall grant non-voting members of an election commission an unpaid leave of absence for the period indicated in Clause 1 Article 41 of this Federal law

ARTICLE 16. Status of Election Commission Members

1. Deputies of legislative (representative) bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government, elected officials of bodies of state power and elected officials of local self-government, judges, prosecutors, candidates, registered candidates and their agents, authorized representatives of electoral associations, electoral blocs, members and authorized representatives of initiative groups of voters which nominated candidates, non-voting members of election commissions, spouses and close relatives of spouses (children, parents, adoptees, adopters, blood brothers, blood sisters, grandchildren, grandfathers, grandmothers) and close relatives of candidates, registered candidates, persons who are directly subordinated to candidates, registered candidates shall not be appointed voting members of election commissions.

2. In this Federal Law direct subordination shall mean an official relationship between a superior and a subordinate in which the former exercises administrative-managerial powers in respect of the latter, i.e., has the right to hire and dismiss the subordinate or, within the scope of official authority, may issue mandatory orders, directives and instructions to the subordinate, award benefits to and impose disciplinary penalties on the subordinate.

3. A voting member of one election commission for the election of the President of the Russian Federation shall not concurrently serve as a voting member on another election commission for the election of the President of the Russian Federation.

4. The term of powers of voting members of election commissions shall expire simultaneously with the expiration of the term of powers of these election commissions.

5. Within a month and, during the period of the election campaign, within three days, a voting member of an election commission shall be relieved of his/her duties as an election commission member before expiration of his/her term of office by a decision of the body which appointed him/her:

    (a) if the election commission member submits a written letter of resignation;

    (b) in the event of the appearance of the grounds provided by Clauses 1 and 3 of this Article.

6. The powers of a voting member of an election commission shall be terminated immediately if:

    (a) the election commission member loses Russian Federation citizenship;

    (b) a court sentence passed on the election commission member comes into legal force;

    (c) the election commission member is pronounced incapacitated, partially incapacitated, missing or dead by a court decision which came into legal force;

    (d) the election commission member dies;

    (e) a court of law acting on an application from an election commission determines, by its decision, that the member of the election commission regularly fails in the performance of his/her duties;

    (f) the election commission is dissolved in a procedure set forth by the Federal Law On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to participate in a Referendum.

7. The body which appointed a voting member of the election commission shall appoint a new voting member of the election commission in accordance with the requirements of this Federal Law to replace the member who was removed from the commission for the reasons indicated in Clauses 5 and 6 of this Article not later than one month, or, during the period of the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation, not later than 10 days after a vacancy was created. Should the body authorized to do so fail to meet this requirement, the higher-level election commission shall appoint a new voting member of the election commission in accordance with the requirements of this Federal Law.

8. Chairmen, deputy chairmen and secretaries of election commissions and members of election commissions who work in the commission permanently (as staff members) shall bear responsibility for violation of this Federal Law as provided by the legislation of the Russian Federation in respect of persons holding official posts.

9. A voting member of an election commission working on a permanent (staff) basis shall not hold other government and municipal offices, be on the government or municipal service, engage in any other paid activities with the exception of teaching, scientific research and other creative pursuits and shall not carry on any business activities.

10. During the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation a voting member of an election commission shall not be subject to criminal prosecution or court-imposed administrative punishments without the sanction of the Prosecutor of the Subject of the Russian Federation or, in the case of a member of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, without the sanction of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

11. A voting member of an election commission - before expiration of his/her powers and a non-voting member of an election commission - during the period of the election campaign shall not be transferred to another job without their consent and shall not be fired on the administration's (employer's) initiative.

12. A non-voting member of an election commission shall have all rights of a voting member with regard to the issues relating to the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation save the right to issue absentee certificates for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation; hand out ballots; sign ballots; participate in sorting out and counting ballots, canceling ballots and absentee certificates for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation, working with voters list, drawing up the protocol of voting returns, election results; participate in voting on matters which are within the competence of the given election commission; sign decisions of the election commission. No remuneration shall be paid to a non-voting member for his/her activities from the funds allocated to the election commission.

13. Voting and non-voting members of an election commission shall be entitled to:

    (a) receive timely notices of meetings of the election commission;

    (b) speak at meetings of the election commission, make proposals on matters within the competence of the given election commission and request that these matters be put to the vote;

    (c) put questions to other participants in meetings of the election commission in accordance with the meeting agenda and receive meaningful answers to these questions;

    (d) inspect voters lists, ballots, other documents and materials of the given commission and the lower-level election commissions (including documents and materials on machine-readable media) and receive copies of these documents and materials (save the copies of voters lists, signature sheets, ballots, absentee certificates for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation, income declarations and information about the property and property liabilities submitted by candidates in pursuance of Clause 6 Article 33 and Clause 12 Article 34 of this Federal Law). On his/her request the election commission shall certify these copies (save the copies of documents and materials on machine-readable media). Examination of documents and materials which contain information classified as a state or a commercial secret or other some secret protected by law shall be carried out in accordance with federal laws;

    (e) appeal decisions and actions (inaction) of the election commission in the higher-level commission or in a court of law.

14. If a registered candidate who appointed non-voting members of an election commission acting on a permanent basis has been elected President of the Russian Federation, the powers of such commission members shall continue until the end of registration of candidates in the next election of the President of the Russian Federation. The powers of other non-voting members of the election commission shall terminate 30 days after the official publication of the results of the election of the President of the Russian Federation for all kinds of voting held in the course of the given election campaign or, if a higher-level election commission receives complaints (statements) about or protests against the decisions and actions (inaction) of the election commission which resulted in the violation of the voting and vote-counting procedures and if these facts are being investigated by a court, after a final decision is handed down on the substance of the complaint (statement) or protest by the higher-level election commission or by a court. The powers of non-voting members of election commissions which do not act on a permanent basis shall terminate simultaneously with the expiration of the term of powers of the given election commission.

15. The powers of a non-voting member of an election commission may be terminated at any time during his/her term and transferred to another person by a decision of the person who appointed the given member.

ARTICLE 17. Powers of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation

1. During the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation acting within the scope of its powers established by federal laws shall:

    (a) direct the activities of election commissions for the election of the President of the Russian Federation;

    (b) exercise control over the observance of electoral rights of citizens of the Russian Federation during the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation and ensure uniform application of this Federal Law;

    (c) issue instructions and other normative acts on the questions of application of this Federal Law;

    (d) render legal, methodological, organizational and technical assistance to election commissions;

    (e) direct the activity of election commissions to ensure uniform application of the state automated information system;

    (f) register electoral blocs;

    (g) register authorized representatives of electoral associations, electoral blocs;

    (h) register initiative groups of voters and their authorized representatives;

    (i) register authorized representatives of candidates, registered candidates for financial matters, agents of candidates;

    (j) register candidates;

    (k) issue certificates of an established form to registered candidates, their agents, authorized representatives for financial matters of candidates, registered candidates;

    (l) ensure that the conditions of election campaigning established by this Federal Law, other federal laws should be observed for all candidates, registered candidates;

    (m) hear information of federal bodies of executive power, bodies of executive power of the Subjects of the Russian Federation and bodies of local self-government on the issues relating to the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation;

    (n) determine the form and degree of protection of ballots, voters lists and other electoral documents and make arrangements for their production;

    (o) determine the form of the absentee certificate for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation and make arrangements for the printing of absentee certificates and their delivery to the election commissions of the Subjects of the Russian Federation;

    (p) approve the Russian text of the ballot;

    (q) approve samples of seals of election commissions;

    (r) approve the rules for the safekeeping of electoral documents and their transfer to archives and agree these rules with the Federal Archive Service of Russia;

    (s) distribute funds allocated to it from the federal budget for financing the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation, the activities of election commissions and exercise of their powers; monitor proper use of the said funds and observance of the requirements of this Federal Law, other federal laws to the funding of election campaigns of candidates, registered candidates;

    (t) take measures to implement a unified procedure for distribution of air time between registered candidates for election campaigning;

    (u) work out and approve the quotas of technical equipment required for the operation of territorial and precinct election commissions, monitor compliance with these quotas;

    (v) check provision to election commissions of premises, transport facilities, communication facilities and deal with other issues of the logistical support for the election of the President of the Russian Federation;

    (w) inform voters about the periods and procedure for the performance of electoral actions, the progress of the election campaign, candidates, registered candidates;

    (x) consider complaints (statements) concerning decisions and actions (inaction) of lower-level election commissions and their officials and adopt motivated decisions thereon;

    (y) establish the results of the election of the President of the Russian Federation and arrange for their official publication; issue a certificate of election to the elected President of the Russian Federation;

    (z) organize the repeat voting for the election of the President of the Russian Federation;

    (aa) organize the repeat election of the President of the Russian Federation;

    (bb) exercise other powers under this the Federal Law and the Federal Law On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum.

2. If the term of powers of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation established by the Federal Law On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum expires during the period of the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation shall continue to exercise its powers until it submits to the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation a report on the expenditure of federal budget funds allocated for the preparation and conduct of the election and the information concerning the sums contributed to and spent from the electoral funds of candidates, registered candidates, but for not longer than the period established by this Federal Law for the submission of the said financial report and the said information.

ARTICLE 18. Powers of the Election Commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation

1. The election commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation shall:

    (a) coordinate activities of election commissions in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation;

    (b) ensure interaction between the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and the bodies of state power in the Subject of the Russian Federation;

    (c) exercise control over observance of electoral rights of citizens of the Russian Federation in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation;

    (d) ensure that the conditions of election campaigning established by this Federal Law, other federal laws should be observed in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation for all candidates, registered candidates;

    (e) ensure uniform use of the state automated information system in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation;

    (f) in accordance with the decisions of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation arrange for the printing of ballots in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation and make arrangements for the delivery thereof to territorial election commissions;

    (g) make arrangements for the delivery of absentee certificates for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation, other electoral documents to lower-level election commissions;

    (h) distribute federal budget funds allocated to it for the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation in the Subject of the Russian Federation, in particular, distribute a part of these funds between territorial election commissions, exercise control over the proper use of these funds and monitor observance of the requirements of this Federal Law, other federal laws to the funding of the election campaign of candidates, registered candidates in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation;

    (i) approve the list of territorial election commissions, establish uniform numeration of electoral precincts in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation;

    (j) ensure compliance with the quotas of technological equipment and with the rules for the safekeeping of electoral documents and their transfer to archives, approved by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;

    (k) monitor compliance with the unified procedure for vote-counting, determining voting returns and establishing election results in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation;

    (l) hear reports of bodies of executive power of the Subject of the Russian Federation and bodies of local self-government on questions relating to the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation;

    (m) determine the voting returns in the election of the President of the Russian Federation in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation and pass on these returns to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;

    (n) consider complaints (statements) concerning decisions and actions (inaction) of lower-level election commissions and their officials in the given Subject of the Russian Federation and adopt motivated decisions thereon;

    (o) inform voters about the periods and procedure for the performance of electoral actions and the progress of the election campaign;

    (p) exercise other powers in compliance with this Federal Law.

2. If the term of powers of the election commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation established by a law of the Subject of the Russian Federation expires during the period of the election campaign in the election of the President of the Russian Federation, the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation shall continue to exercise its powers until the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation submits to the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation a report on the expenditure of federal budget funds and the information concerning the sums contributed to and spent from the electoral funds of candidates, registered candidates but for not longer than the period established by this Federal Law for the submission of the said financial report and the said information. This provision shall not apply to the election commissions of Subjects of the Russian Federation which had been formed before the Federal Law On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum came into force.

ARTICLE 19. Powers of a Territorial Election Commission (Raion, City and Other Election Commissions)

1. A territorial election commission shall:

    (a) exercise control over the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation in the given territory;

    (b) coordinate the work of precinct election commissions in the given territory, consider complaints (statements) concerning decisions and actions (inaction) of these election commissions and adopt motivated decisions thereon;

    (c) hear reports of bodies of local self-government on questions relating to the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation;

    (d) compile voters lists separately for each precinct in the given territory, save as provided otherwise in Clauses 3 - 6 Article 25 of this Federal Law;

    (e) distribute federal budget funds allocated to it for the preparation and conduct of the election and, in particular, distribute a part of the funds between precinct election commissions, exercise control over the proper use of these funds;

    (f) together with the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation ensure that the conditions of election campaigning established by this Federal Law, other federal laws should be observed for all candidates, registered candidates in the given territory ;

    (g) arrange for the delivery of ballots and other documents to precinct election commissions;

    (h) issue absentee certificates to voters for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation;

    (i) render organizational and technical assistance to precinct election commissions in the conduct of voting in electoral precincts;

    (j) monitor compliance with the unified procedure for vote-counting, determining voting returns and establishing the results of the election of the President of the Russian Federation in the given territory;

    (k) determine voting returns in the given territory, release these returns to the mass media and submit protocols of voting returns to the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation;

    (l) arrange for the safekeeping and transfer of documents relating to the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation in accordance with the rules approved by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;

    (m) ensure compliance with the quotas of technological equipment approved by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;

    (n) inform voters about the periods and procedure for the performance of electoral actions, the progress of the election campaign of a candidate, registered candidate;

    (o) exercise other powers under this Federal Law.

2. The term of powers of a territorial election commission in the election of the President of the Russian Federation shall expire 15 days after the day on which the general results of the election of the President of the Russian Federation are officially published if no complaints (statements) and protests have been received by a higher-level election commission about the decisions and actions (inaction) of the given election commission, which resulted in the violation of the voting and the vote-counting procedure and if these facts are not being investigated by a court. If the voting returns or the election results in the given territory have been appealed or protested, the powers of the territorial election commission shall expire after a final decision has been handed down on the substance of the complaint (statement), protest by a higher-level commission or by a court.

ARTICLE 20. Powers of a Precinct Election Commission

1. A precinct election commission shall:

    (a) inform the population about the address and the telephone number of the precinct election commission, its working hours; about the day and place of voting;

    (b) update the voters list for the given electoral precinct and, in the cases provided by Clauses 3 - 7 Article 25 of this Federal Law, compile and update a voters list, allow voters to examine the voters list, consider complaints about errors and inaccuracies in the voters list and make appropriate corrections therein;

    (c) prepare voting premises, ballot boxes and other equipment;

    (d) inform voters about registered candidates on the basis of the information received from a higher-level election commission;

    (e) exercise control over compliance with the rules for election campaigning in the territory of the electoral precinct;

    (f) issue absentee certificates to voters for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation;

    (g) organize voting in the electoral precinct on voting day as well as early voting;

    (h) count votes, determine voting returns for the given electoral precinct and submit protocols of voting returns to the territorial election commission;

    (i) within the scope of its powers consider complaints (statements) about violations of this Federal Law and take motivated decisions thereon;

    (j) arrange for the safekeeping and transfer of documents relating to the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation in accordance with the rules approved by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;

    (k) exercise other powers under this Federal Law.

2. The powers of a precinct election commission shall expire 10 days after the official publication of the general results of the election of the President of the Russian Federation if no complaints (statements) and protests have been received by a higher-level election commission about the decisions and actions (inaction) of the given election commission which resulted in the violation of the voting and vote-counting procedure and if these facts are not being investigated by a court. If the voting returns in an election precinct, territory or the results of the election of the President of the Russian Federation have been appealed or protested, the powers of a precinct election commission shall end after a final decision has been handed down on the substance of the complaint (statement), protest by a higher-level election commission or by a court.

ARTICLE 21. Openness in the Activity of Election Commissions

1. Members and representatives of higher-level election commissions, a registered candidate or his/her agent, the authorized representative of the candidate, registered candidate for financial matters may attend all meetings of any election commission and be present when votes are counted and a precinct, territorial election commission works with voters lists, ballots, absentee certificates for voting in the election of the President of the Russian Federation, protocols of voting returns and election results. The aforementioned persons shall not need any additional permission from the election commission to attend its meetings and be present when the election commission works with the said electoral documents. The election commission shall provide free access for the aforementioned persons to meetings and to premises where it counts votes and works with the said electoral documents. Media representatives may also be present at the commission's meetings or when the commission counts votes and works with the said electoral documents.

2. An election commission shall inform the election commission of the next higher level, each candidate, registered candidate or his/her agent or authorized representative for financial matters about the time when the given commission is to hold its meetings or work with the said electoral documents.

3. Representatives of interested parties and complainants may be present at meetings of election commissions during consideration of complaints (statements).

4. Election commissions shall inform voters about the results of registration of candidates; biographical data of registered candidates and other information concerning the candidates, which was received by the election commission in accordance with this Federal Law; about the voting returns for each registered candidate and the results of the election of the President of the Russian Federation

5. On voting day, including the day of early voting, the persons indicated in Clause 1 of this Article as well as observers, including foreign (international) observers may be present at polling stations from the time a precinct election commission begins its work and until it receives a message that the higher-level election commission has adopted a protocol of voting returns and also when votes are recounted.

6. Observers, media representatives, foreign (international) observers may be present in other election commissions when these commissions are engaged in determining voting returns, establishing election results, drawing up protocols of voting returns, election results and when votes are recounted.

7. Access to the premises of a precinct election commission of an election precinct formed in the territory of a military unit, in a closed administrative-territorial unit, at a hospital, sanatorium, holiday hotel, investigation and preliminary confinement wards and to the voting premises of the given election precinct shall be provided to all members of the election commission, persons indicated in Clause 1 of this Article, observers.

8. Each registered candidate, each electoral association, each electoral bloc, each all-Russian public association shall be entitled to appoint several observers to precinct election commissions, who on voting day, including the day of early voting, may, in rotation, monitor the proceedings at the voting premises during the time indicated in Clause 5 of this Article.

9. The powers of an observer shall be certified by written credentials issued by a registered candidate or his/her agent, by the electoral association, electoral bloc, public association whose interests are represented by the given observer. The credentials shall indicate the first, middle and last name of the observer, the address of his/her place of residence, telephone number (if any) and also the number of the electoral precinct and the name of the election commission (territorial, precinct commission) to which the observer is sent. These credentials shall be valid if shown together with a passport or an equivalent identity paper. No advance notification about sending of an observer shall be required.

10. The credentials indicated in Clause 9 of this Article may be produced to an election commission at any time from the first meeting of the election commission until it completes the work on the protocol of voting returns, election results, including the results of vote recounting.

11. Observers shall be entitled to:

    (a) inspect voters lists;

    (b) be present at the voting premises of the given electoral precinct on voting day at any time during the period indicated in Clause 5 of this Article;

    (c) watch ballots being issued to voters;

    (d) be present when voters vote outside the voting premises;

    (e) watch the counting of the number of voters on the voters lists, the number of ballots issued to voters, the number of canceled ballots; watch votes being counted at the voting premises from a distance and under conditions which allow them to observe the contents of ballots; inspect any marked and unmarked ballot when votes are counted; watch the election commission drawing up a protocol of voting returns and other documents during the period indicated in Clause 5 of this Article;

    (f) make proposals and remarks concerning organization of voting to the chairman of a precinct election commission or, in his/her absence, to a person acting for him/her;

    (g) inspect the protocol of voting returns drawn up by the given precinct election commission, the protocols of voting returns of other election commissions to which he/she is sent (including the corrected protocol) and the protocol of the election results of the Central Election Commission, make or receive from appropriate election commissions copies of the said protocols and the documents attached thereto as well as copies of other documents which are received by these commissions or drawn up by them in the period indicated in Clause 5 of this Article, including the list of persons present at the voting. Upon an observer's request the election commission shall certify the said copies or issue him/her certified copies of the said documents;

    (h) appeal decisions and actions (inaction) of the election commission to which an observer was sent directly in the election commission of the next higher level, the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation or in a court;

    (i) be present when commissions recount votes.

12. Observers shall not:

    (a) issue ballots to voters;

    (b) sign for voters for the receipt of ballots, when asked to do so by them;

    (c) mark ballots for voters on their request;

    (d) do anything that might violate the secrecy of voting;

    (e) directly participate in the counting of ballots together with the voting members of the election commission;

    (f) do anything that may interfere with the work of the election commission;

    (g) carry on election propaganda among voters;

    (h) participate in the adoption of decisions by the election commission.

13. Media representatives shall be entitled to examine decisions taken and protocols of voting returns or election results drawn up by all election commissions (including corrected protocols), make copies or receive from the election commission copies of the said decisions and protocols and of documents attached thereto. Upon the request of a media representative an election commission shall certify a copy of its decision or copies of its protocols of voting returns or election results.

14. Copies of protocols and of other documents of election commissions shall be certified by the chairman or the secretary of the election commission. To do so, the aforementioned persons shall mark the copy to be certified with the words This is a true copy, sign it, affix the seal of the election commission and indicate the date of certification.

15. Non-voting members of election commissions and observers present at voting and at vote counting on the premises of precinct election commissions may wear badges or cards showing their status and whom they represent. The badges and cards shall bear no elements of election propaganda.

ARTICLE 22. Foreign (International) Observers

1. Foreign (international) observers shall receive a permission for entry into the Russian Federation in a procedure established by a federal law and, if they have an appropriate invitation, shall be accredited by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation.

2. Invitations may be extended by the President of the Russian Federation, the Federation Council and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Russian Federation, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Russian Federation, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation after official publication of a decision to call the election of the President of the Russian Federation. Requests for invitations may be submitted by international and national government and non-government organizations as well as private persons who enjoy high prestige in the field of the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms. The State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation shall extend invitations in accordance with the proposals of each electoral association, electoral bloc which has a faction in the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

3. The Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation shall issue a foreign (international) observer a certificate of a standard form on the basis of the documents to be presented by him/her to confirm that he/she has been invited by any of the bodies or persons listed in Clause 2 of this Article. This certificate shall allow the foreign (international) observer to carry on his/her activity during the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation.

4. The activity of foreign (international) observers shall be regulated by this Federal Law, other federal laws.

5. The term of powers of a foreign (international) observer shall begin from the day on which the observer receives accreditation at the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and shall end on the day on which the general results of the election of the President of the Russian Federation are published.

6. A foreign (international) observer shall perform his/her tasks and functions independently, as he/she sees fit. The material and financial support for the activity of a foreign (international) observer shall be provided for the account of the organization which sent the observer, or for his/her own account.

7. During his/her stay in the territory of the Russian Federation a foreign (international) observer shall be under the state patronage of the Russian Federation. Election commissions, federal bodies of state power and bodies of state power of the Subjects of the Russian Federation shall render him/her the necessary assistance.

8. After voting day foreign (international) observers may express their opinion about the electoral laws of the Russian Federation and the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation, hold press conferences and apply to the mass media.

9. Foreign (international) observers may meet with candidates, registered candidates and their agents, authorized representatives of electoral associations, electoral blocs.

10. Foreign (international) observers shall not take advantage of their status to carry on activities unrelated to monitoring the course of the election campaign, the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation.

11. The Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation may revoke accreditation of a foreign (international) observer if he/she violates federal laws or the generally accepted principles and norms of international law.

ARTICLE 23. Organization of the Activity of Election Commissions

1. Election commissions shall carry on their activity on a collective basis.

2. An election commission acting on a permanent basis shall hold its first meeting not later than the fifteenth day after the appointment of its voting members but not before the term of powers of the election commission of the previous composition expires. By such time not less than two-thirds of the established number of voting commission members shall be appointed.

3. An election commission which does not act on a permanent basis shall hold its first meeting not later than three days after its formation. The election commission shall be competent to start its work if not less than two-thirds of the established number of its voting members have been appointed.

4. The chairman, the deputy chairman and the secretary of an election commission shall be elected by secret ballot at its first meeting from among voting members of the commission. The date and place of the first meeting of a territorial, precinct election commission shall be determined by the body (bodies) which formed the commission. Until election of the chairman of the election commission its meeting shall be presided over by the oldest member of the commission. The chairman, the deputy chairman and the secretary of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation shall hold their offices on a permanent (staff) basis.

5. Meetings of an election commission shall be called by its chairman or the deputy chairman or upon a request of not less than one-third of the established number of voting members of the commission.

6. Voting members of election commissions shall be obliged to attend all meetings of the commission.

7. A meeting of an election commission shall be competent to transact business if attended by the majority of the established number of voting members of the commission. A meeting of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, the election commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation shall be competent to transact business if attended by not less than two-thirds of the established number of voting members of the commission.

8. Decisions of election commissions on the election of the chairman, the deputy chairman and the secretary of the election commission and their removal from office, on the financing of the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation, on the registration of candidates, on the annulment of registration of registered candidates, on voting returns and election results, on declaration of the election not to have taken place or to be null and void, on the holding of repeat voting or repeat election, on the annulment of decisions of lower-level election commissions shall be taken by election commissions at their meetings by the majority vote of the established number of the voting members of the election commission.

9. Decisions of election commissions on other issues shall be taken by a majority vote of the voting members of the commission present at the meeting.

10. When a decision of an election commission is put to the vote, a voting member of the election commission may only vote for or against.

11. In the event of the parity of votes cast for and against a decision of an election commission the chairman of the election commission shall have a casting vote.

12. On the request of any member of an election commission and any member of a higher-level election commission present at its meeting the given election commission shall put to the vote any matter within the scope of its competence, which is considered by the commission at its meeting in accordance with the approved agenda.

13. Minutes of proceedings shall be kept at all meetings of an election commission. All documents received by an election commission shall be registered.

14. The minutes of proceedings and decisions of an election commission shall be signed by the chairman and the secretary of the election commission.

15. Members of an election commission who dissent from the decision taken by the election commission shall be entitled to express in writing their dissenting opinion, which shall be considered by this commission, recorded in the minutes of its meeting, attached to the said minutes and made known by the chairman of the election commission to the higher-level election commission within three days or immediately, if the dissenting opinion is expressed on voting day or the day following voting day.

16. Election commissions may hire personnel under civil-law contracts for the performance of work related to the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation within the limits of the funds allocated to it from the federal budget.

17. During the period of the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation every week the TV and radio broadcasting organizations indicated in Sub-clause a Clause 1 Article 47 of this Federal Law shall provide not less than 15 minutes of free air time on their channels to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and the TV and radio broadcasting organizations indicated in Sub-clause b Clause 1 Article 47 of this Federal Law not less than 10 minutes of free air time on their channels to the election commissions of the Subjects of the Russian Federation to clarify electoral laws of the Russian Federation; inform voters about the periods and procedure for the performance of the necessary electoral actions and the progress of the election campaign; answer voters' questions.

18. During the period of the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Russian Federation the editorial offices of periodicals coming out at least once a week, which are indicated in Sub-clause c Clause 1 Article 47 of this Federal Law, shall provide, free of charge, not less than one percent of their weekly space to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation. During the period of the preparation and conduct of the election the editorial offices of periodicals coming out at least once a week, which are indicated in Sub-clause d Clause 1 Article 47 of this Federal Law, shall provide, free of charge, not less than one percent of their weekly space to the election commissions of the Subjects of the Russian Federation. The election commissions shall use this space to clarify electoral laws of the Russian Federation; inform voters about the periods and procedure for the performance of the necessary electoral actions, candidates and registered candidates, the progress of the election campaign; answer voters' questions.

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