More You Want To Know
Election of President
of the Russian Federation
3 July 1996
1. What is repeat Voting and why is it necessary?
Repeat voting is simply a second round election or a run-off between the two candidates who received the highest number of vote in the regular Presidential Election, which was held on 16 June 1996. Under the Law on the Election of President of the Russian Federation, at least 50% of the voters on the voters list had to have participated in the election for the election to have been considered valid. To be declared a winner of the election a candidate must have received more than 50% of the votes cast on official ballot papers. Ballot papers found in the ballot box of «non-standard» form are excluded from the calculation.
In the first round there were 10 candidates remaining in the race as of election day. No candidate received more than 50% of the votes cast. The two candidates with the highest umber of votes were Yeltsin with 35.05% and Zyuganov with 32.35% of the votes cast. A repeat election must be held within 15 days of the estimation of the results from the general election, which was announced by the Central Election. Yeltsin and Zyuganov will compete against each other in the repeat voting on 3 July 1996.
2. Is there a threshold turnout requirement for the repeat Voting?
No. The requirements that 50% of the voters on the voters list participate for the election to be considered valid does not apply to the second round election.
3. Does the ballot offer voters any other choice besides Voting for either of the two candidates?
Yes. In addition to the names of the two candidates, a separate option is offered to allow voters to vote «AGAINST BOTH CANDIDATES.»
4. How is the winner determined in the repeat voting?
The candidate who receives the greatest number of votes is declared the winner as long as the number of votes cast for this candidate is greater than the number of votes cast «AGAINST ALL CANDIDATES.»
5. What laws will apply to the repeat voting?
Article 56 of the Law on the Election of the President of the Russian Federation dictates that repeat voting will be conducted under the same laws that applied to the general election. The only provision of the law, which is waived for repeat voting, is the threshold voter turnout requirement. The procedures followed at the polling places in the processing of voters and during the counting and summarizing the votes will be the same as those implemented in the general election. (See «20 Most Asked Questions,» or «General Guidelines for International Observers» which are also available on the IFES's World Wide Web Site:
In addition, the same special voter services will also be available, including:
- assistance to voters at the polling station who are unable to sign the voter list or mark their ballots without help;
- use of the mobile ballot box to assist voters who are unable to come to the polling place because of ill health or other good reason and apply to have a ballot delivered to them on election day;
- absentee voting by persons who have applied for and received an Absentee Certificate from their regular polling station that permits them to vote at a different polling station on election day;
- early voting within the 15 days prior to the election on commercial, military and scientific research ships and river fleets that will be navigating or in foreign ports on the day of repeat voting, military installations and other remote sites in compliance with the law and Clarifications approved by Resolution of the Central Election Commission.
During the general election absentee voters were allowed to retain their Absentee Certificates so that they could use them in the repeat voting if necessary. During the repeat voting the Absentee Certificate will be kept by the Polling Station Election Commission where the person, actually votes, even if the person has returned to his regular voting station. A person who did not vote absentee in the general election but will be away from his polling station on the day of repeat voting may apply for an Absentee Certificate from his regular precinct.
6. Will the same election commissions conduct the elections?
Yes. According to the Clarification passed by resolution of the Central Election Commission on 19 June 1996 (#104/823-11) the composition of all election commissions will be the same as they were formed for the general election on 16 June 1996. For that election the following election commissions were established.
Subject Election Commissions corresponding to the 89 regional administrative units into which the Russian Federaton is divided;
Territorial Election Commissions under the supervision of the Subject Election Commissions and encompassing the various cities and raions
Polling Station Election Commissions, each serving up to 3,000 voters inside the Russian Federation
Polling Station Election Commissions established at locations outside the boundaries of the Russian Federation
7. Who may vote in the repeat voting?
The eligibility requirements for voting in the repeat voting are exactly the same as they were for the regular election. Any citizen who has reached the age of 18 by election day is eligible to vote in the repeat voting unless the person has been ruled incompetent by a court, or has been imprisoned by decision of a court. Based on voter statistics for the general election, it is estimated that approximately 108.5 million voters will be eligible to participate in the repeat voting.
8. How will voter's lists be prepared?
When voter lists were compiled for the polling stations for the 16 June 1996 election, two copies were prepared. One copy was used by the Polling Station Election Commission on election day; the second copy which was retained by the Territorial Election Commission will be used for the repeat voting. Upon receipt of the second copy of the original voters list, the Polling Station Election Commission will be responsible to update the list in preparation for the repeat voting.
The updating process involves modifying the second copy so that it includes all the changes and additions, which were made to the original list in the days immediately prior to the 16 June general election and on election day. The kinds of changes and corrections, which were made to, the original list and which must be copied onto the list for the repeat voting include:
- additions of voters who had moved to the area after the original list was compiled;
- additions of voters who had been omitted from the original list in error but who can present identification documents that prove their permanent residence or temporary accommodation in the area served by the polling station;
- changes in the basic information about the voter; and,
- about voters who applied to the Polling Station Election Commission for an Absentee Certificate that would allow them to vote elsewhere on election day.
Not later than 5 days prior to the date of repeat voting, the Polling Station Election Commission must make the voters lists available for public scrutiny so that any other appropriate corrections may be made. Voter lists for sanatoriums, hospitals, installations and establishments where special polling stations have been established must be compiled by the chief officer and must only include the names of those voters who will remain in residence on the day of the repeat voting. All voter lists will continue to undergo changes until the closing of the polls to accommodate eligible voters whose circumstances change. It is not allowed to make any changes to the list once the counting process begins.
9. What is the status of observers in the repeat voting?
Most of the categories of observers appointed prior to 16 June 1996 regular election would also be authorized to observe during the repeat voting. They include:
- observers of the candidates who have advanced to the repeat voting;
- observers representing initiative voters' groups who nominated the successful candidate;
- observers representing public associations;
- representatives of the mass media; and,
- observers representing foreign states and international organizations.
However, observers representing the candidates who failed to advance to the second round of voting, and the electoral associations and initiative voters' groups who nominated them are no longer eligible to be observers during the repeat voting.
The accreditation issued to observers from foreign states and international organizations by the Central Election Commission do not expire until 5 August 1996 and, therefore, there will be no need to reapply. However, foreign delegates should check their accreditation to ensure that it remains in effect.
Observers will be allowed to be present on the day of repeat voting from the beginning of the work of the Polling Station Election Commissions through the completion of the documents of the final results by the election commissions.
10. What happens if one candidate withdraws prior to the repeat voting and only one candidate remains'?
Under Article 56 of the Law on the Election of President, if a candidate withdraws or if for any other reason only one candidate remains prior to the date scheduled for the repeat voting, the person who received the next highest number of votes in the regular election advances to the second round. The replacement candidate is formally designated by a decision of the Central Election Commission.