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30.11.2021, . 10:20


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Chapter IV. Election Commissions

Article 18. The System and the Status of Election Commissions for the Election of Deputies of the State Duma

Article 19. Formation of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and Election Commissions of Subjects of the Russian Federation

Article 20. Formation of a District Election Commission

Article 21. Formation of Territorial and Precinct Election Commissions

Article 22. Appointment of Non-Voting Members of Election Commissions

Article 23. Status of Election Commission Members

Article 24. Powers of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation

Article 25. Powers of the Election Commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation

Article 26. Powers of a District Election Commission

Article 27. Powers of a Territorial Election Commission

Article 28. Powers of a Precinct Election Commission

Article 29. Openness in the Activity of Election Commissions

Article 30. Foreign (International) Observers

Article 31. Organization of the Activity of Election Commissions


Article 18. The System and the Status of Election Commissions for the Election of Deputies of the State Duma

1. The election of deputies of the State Duma shall be prepared and conducted by:

the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;

the election commissions of Subjects of the Russian Federation;

district election commissions;

territorial (rayon, city and other) election commissions

precinct election commissions.

2. In the election of deputies of the State Duma 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 election commission for the election of deputies of the State Duma taken within the scope of its competence shall be binding on the lower election commissions.

4. Acting within the scope of their competence election commissions for the election of deputies of the State Duma shall consider complaints which they receive in the course of an election campaign concerning violations of this Federal Law, other federal laws as regards 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 may apply to law enforcement bodies and request them to carry out the necessary investigation and stop violations of this Federal Law, other federal laws as regards preparation and conduct of 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 deputies of the State Duma shall keep voters informed about the time and the 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 deputies of the State Duma which conflicts with federal laws or which has been taken in excess of the commission's powers shall be revoked by a higher election commission for the election of deputies of the State Duma or a court of law. In this case, the higher 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 election of deputies of the State Duma 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 deputies of the State Duma and other electoral documentation; supply transport, communication facilities, technical equipment, information and materials; respond to the requests of election commissions within five days or, during five days prior to and on voting day, immediately. Organizations of all forms of ownership which have a state share in their charter capital exceeding 30 per cent thereof as of the day of official publication of a decision to call the election and bodies of local self-government shall assist election commissions for the election of deputies of the State Duma 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 within five days or, during five days prior to and on voting day, immediately. TV and/or radio broadcasting organizations, editorial offices of periodicals indicated in Clause 1 Article 55 of this Federal Law shall allow election commissions for the election of deputies of the State Duma to publish information and grant them free air time to keep voters informed, in accordance with a procedure established by this Federal Law, other federal laws. In this case, expenses of the TV and/or radio broadcasting organizations shall be covered from their current funding.

8. Organizations (including TV and/or radio broadcasting organizations), editorial offices of periodicals, public associations which are not mentioned in Clause 7 of this Article as well as their officials shall provide the necessary information and materials to election commissions for the election of deputies of the State Duma, respond to requests of election commissions within five days or, during five days prior to and on the election day, immediately.

Article 19. Formation of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and Election Commissions of Subjects of the Russian Federation

The Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, election commissions of 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.

Article 20. Formation of a District Election Commission

1. A district election commission shall be formed in each single-mandate electoral district.

2. A district election commission shall be formed not earlier than five days after the day of official publication of the scheme of single-mandate electoral districts and not later than 90 days prior to voting day and shall consist of 8 - 14 voting members.

3. One half of members of a district election commission shall be appointed by the legislative (representative) body of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation, the other half by the executive body of state power of the Subject of the Russian Federation . The appointment of members of a district election commission shall be made on the basis of proposals from electoral associations, electoral blocs, elective bodies of local self-government, the corresponding district election commissions of the former composition. Governmental and municipal employees shall not account for more than one-third of the total number of members of an election commission.

4. Both the legislative (representative) and the executive body of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation shall appoint not less than one-third of its appointees to the commission on the basis of proposals made by each electoral association, electoral bloc which has factions in the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and on the basis of proposals from electoral associations, electoral blocs which have factions in the legislative (representative) body of state power of the given Subject of the Russian Federation and 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 the powers of the State Duma, legislative (representative) body of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation are terminated before expiration of their term, the right to make proposals concerning membership of a district election commission shall be retained by the electoral associations, electoral blocs which had deputy factions in the State Duma, legislative (representative) body of state power of the Subject of the Russian Federation of the last convocation.

6. If the legislative (representative) body and the executive body of state power of a Subject of the Russian Federation have not appointed all or some members of a district election commission within the period stipulated by Clause 2 of this Article, the district election commission shall be formed or some of its members shall be appointed by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation in compliance with the requirements established by this Federal Law.

7. If a Subject of the Russian Federation has only one single-mandate electoral district, a district election commission need not be formed, provided the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation takes an appropriate decision. In this case, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation shall confer the powers of a district election commission on the election commission of the given Subject of the Russian Federation.

Article 21. Formation of Territorial and Precinct Election Commissions

1. Territorial (raion, city and other) election commissions consisting of 5 - 9 voting members shall be formed not earlier than 30 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 upon 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 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, the law of a Subject of the Russian Federation, the charter of a municipal unit provides that a territorial election commission shall operate on a permanent basis, the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation with the concurrence of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation may confer the powers of a territorial election commission for the election of deputies to the State Duma on the said election commission.

2. A precinct election commissions shall be formed not later than three days after formation of the given electoral precinct 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 numbers of members depending on the number of voters registered in the territory of the electoral precinct:

less than 1,000 voters - 3 to 7 voting members of the commission;

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

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

3. If voting day in the election of deputies of the State Duma coincides with voting day in the election of 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 shall be paid to these members of the election commission from the appropriate budget.

4. The representative body (representative bodies) of local self-government shall appoint not less than one-third of 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 electoral associations, electoral blocs which have factions in the legislative (representative) body of state power of the given Subject of the Russian Federation and/or in the representative body (representative bodies) body of local self-government, and 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 an 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.

6. If the powers of the State Duma, 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 deputy factions in the State Duma, legislative (representative) body of state power of a 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 not appointed all or part of members of a territorial, precinct election commission within the period stipulated 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 part of its membership shall be appointed by the district election commission, and a precinct election commission shall be formed or part of its membership shall be appointed by the appropriate territorial commission in compliance with the requirements established by 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 the precinct election commissions shall be appointed on the basis of a decision of a meeting of voters of the appropriate labor or military collective by the head of the polar station, the ship's captain, the commander 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 appropriate diplomatic or consular mission of the Russian Federation or by the commander of the military unit stationed outside the territory of the Russian Federation.

11. In 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 government and by executive bodies of state power in accordance with the procedure established in this Article.

Article 22. Appointment of Non-Voting Members of Election Commissions

1. An electoral association, electoral bloc which has a federal list of candidates registered by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation shall be entitled to appoint one non-voting member to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, to each election commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation, each district, territorial, precinct election commission.

2. A candidate registered in a single mandate electoral district shall be entitled to appoint one non-voting member to the district election commission which registered this candidate and to each territorial and precinct election commission in the single-mandate electoral district where this candidate has been registered.

3. Each electoral association, electoral bloc which nominated a candidate registered in a single-mandate electoral district may appoint one non-voting member of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, election commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation.

4. Non-voting members shall be issued certificates of the form established by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation.

Article 23. 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 bodies of local self-government, judges, prosecutors, candidates, registered candidates, their agents, authorized representatives and agents of electoral associations, electoral blocs which nominated federal lists of candidates, non-voting members of election commissions, spouses and their close relatives (children, parents, adoptees, adopters, blood brothers, blood sisters, grandchildren, grandfathers, grandmothers), 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 official relationship between a superior and a subordinate in which the former exercises administrative-managerial powers in respect of the latter, i.e., 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 an election commission for the election of deputies of the State Duma shall not concurrently serve as a voting member on another election commission for the election of deputies of the State Duma.

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

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

(a) if the election commission member submits a written request 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 incompetent, partially incompetent, missing or dead by a court ruling which came into legal force;

(d) the election commission member dies;

(e) a court of law acting on an application of an election commission finds that a 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. Acting in accordance with the requirements of this Federal Law the body which appointed a voting member of the election commission shall appoint a new voting member of the election commission to replace the member who was removed for the aforementioned reasons not later than one month, or, during the period of the preparation and conduct of the election, not later than ten days after a vacancy was created. Should the body authorized to do so fail to meet this requirement a higher election commission shall appoint a new member of the election commission with due regard to the requirements set forth by this Federal Law.

8. Chairmen, deputy chairmen and secretaries of election commissions and members of election commissions who work in the commission permanently shall be held liable for violation of this Federal Law as provided by 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 occupy other government and municipal offices, be on a civil or municipal service, engage in paid activity with the exception of teaching, scientific work and other creative pursuits and shall not carry on any business activities.

10. During the preparation and conduct of the election a voting member of an election commission shall not be subject to legal prosecution or court-imposed administrative punishments without the sanction of an appropriate prosecutor.

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

12. A non-voting member of an election commission shall have the same rights as voting members with regard to the issues relating to the preparation and conduct of the election of deputies of the State Duma save the right to issue absentee certificates for voting in the election of deputies of the State Duma, hand out ballots, participate in sorting out and counting the ballots, canceling ballots and absentee certificates for voting in the election of deputies of the Sate Duma , draw up a protocol of voting returns, election results, participate in the voting on matters which are within the competence of the given election commission, and sign decisions of the election commission. No remuneration shall be paid 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 any documents and materials (including voter lists, ballots), including, documents and materials of the given commission and the lower election commissions recorded on machine-readable media and receive copies of these documents and materials (with the exception of voter lists, signature lists, ballots, absentee certificates for voting in the election of deputies of the State Duma). On his/her request the election commission shall certify these copies (with the exception of copies on machine-readable media). Examination of documents and materials which contain information classified as a state or commercial secret or other classified information protected by law shall be carried out in accordance with relevant federal laws;

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

14. If a registered candidate who appointed non-voting members of an election commission has been elected or the federal list of candidates of the electoral association, electoral bloc which nominated non-voting members of an election commission gained the right to participate in the distribution of deputy mandates, the powers of such commission members shall continue until the end of registration of candidates (lists of candidates) in the next election of deputies of the State Duma. The powers of the other non-voting members of the election commissions shall terminate 30 days after the official publication of the general results of the election of deputies of the State Duma for the given election campaign, and, if a higher election commission has received complaints (statements) and protests about the decisions and actions (inaction) of an election commission which resulted in the violation of the voting and the vote-counting procedure and also if these facts are being investigated by a court - after the higher election commission or the court hands down a final decision on the substance of the complaint, protest.

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

Article 24. Powers of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation

1. During the preparation and conduct of the election of deputies of the State Duma 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 deputies of the State Duma;

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

(c) prepare a scheme of single-mandate electoral districts and submit it to the State Duma for its consideration;

(d) when determining the scheme of formation of single-mandate electoral districts deal with the question of inclusion of voters residing outside the territory of the Russian Federation to the appropriate single mandate electoral district;

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

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

(g) guide the activity of election commissions to ensure uniform use of the state information system;

(h) register electoral blocs;

(i) certify federal lists of candidates and lists of candidates nominated in single-mandate electoral districts by electoral associations, electoral blocs;

(j) register federal lists of candidates and lists of candidates nominated by electoral associations, electoral blocs;

(k) publish registered federal lists of candidates;

(l) register agents, authorized representatives for financial matters of electoral associations, electoral blocs;

(m) issue credentials of an established form to candidates, registered candidates, authorized representatives of electoral associations, electoral blocs for financial matters;

(n) ensure observance of election campaigning terms and conditions established by this Federal Law, other federal laws by all candidates, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs;

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

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

(q) determine the form of the absentee certificate for voting in the election of deputies of the State Duma and make arrangements for the printing of absentee certificates;

(r) approve the Russian text of the ballot for voting in the federal electoral district;

(s) approve samples of seals of election commissions;

(t) approve the procedure for safekeeping of electoral documents and their transfer to archives and agree this procedure with the Federal Archive Service of the Russian Federation;

(u) distribute funds allocated from the federal budget for financing the preparation and conduct of the election of deputies of the State Duma, the activities of election commissions and exercise of their powers, monitor proper use of the said funds as well as the funds received by electoral funds of candidates, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs;

(v) undertake measures to implement a unified procedure for distribution of air time between registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs for election campaigning;

(w) work out the preparation of quantity standards for technical equipment required for the operation of territorial and precinct election commissions, approve these standards and monitor their enforcement;

(x) check provision to election commissions of premises, transport, communication facilities and deal with other issues of logistical support of the election;

(y) keep voters informed about the time and the procedure for the performance of electoral actions, the progress of the election campaign;

(z) consider complains (statements) concerning decisions and actions (inaction) of lower election commissions and their officials and adopt motivated decisions thereon;

(aa) determine the registered candidates on the federal lists nominated by electoral associations, electoral blocs who have been elected deputies of the State Duma in the federal electoral district and issue certificates of election to them;

(bb) establish general results of the election of deputies of the State Duma for the whole of the Russian Federation and arrange for their official publication;

(cc) compile lists of persons elected deputies of the State Duma and hand over these lists and the necessary documents to the State Duma;

(dd) call and organize a repeat election of deputies of the State Duma to replace outgoing deputies (by-election);

(ee) 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 a federal law expires during the period of the preparation and conduct of the election of deputies of the State Duma, the powers of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation shall be extended until a report on the expenditure of federal budget funds and information concerning the sums contributed to and spent from electoral funds of candidate, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs have been submitted to the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, but for not longer than the period established by this Federal Law for the submission of the said financial report.

Article 25. 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) provide for 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 activities 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, electoral associations, electoral blocs;

(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 for the federal electoral district and single-mandate electoral districts formed in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation and make arrangements for the delivery thereof to district and territorial election commissions;

(g) make arrangements for the delivery of absentee certificates for voting in the election of deputies of the State Duma, other electoral documents to lower election commissions;

(h) distribute funds allocated to it for the preparation and conduct of the election in the Subject of the Russian Federation, in particular, distribute a part of these funds between district and territorial election commissions and exercise control over the proper use of these funds and over contribution of money to and its expenditure from electoral funds of candidates, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation;

(i) assign names to the territorial election commissions, establish a uniform numeration of the electoral precincts in the territory of the Subject of the Russian Federation;

(j) ensure compliance with the quotas of technological equipment, the procedure for 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, determination of voting returns and 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;

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

(n) keep voters informed about the time and the procedure for the performance of electoral actions, and the progress of the election campaign;

(o) 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 deputies to the State Duma, the powers of the election commission of the Subject of the Russian Federation shall be extended until the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation has submitted to the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation a report on the expenditure of federal budget funds and information concerning the sums contributed to and spent from electoral funds of candidates, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs, but for not longer than the period established by this Federal Law for the submission of the said financial report.

Article 26. Powers of a District Election Commission

1. A district election commission shall:

(a) exercise control over compliance with this Federal Law in the territory of the electoral district;

(b) coordinate the activities of territorial and precinct election commissions, consider complaints (statements) concerning decisions and actions (inaction) of these commissions and their officials and adopt motivated decisions thereon;

(c) provide access to information about candidates nominated in the given single-mandate electoral district, publish information about registered candidates;

(d) register candidates for election to the State Duma in the given electoral district and their agents, issue certificates of a standard form to them;

(e) ensure that the election campaigning conditions established by this Federal Law, other federal laws are observed by all candidates, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs;

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

(g) distribute funds allocated to it for the preparation and conduct of the election and exercise control over the proper use of these funds and over contribution of money to and its expenditure from electoral funds of candidates, registered candidates;

(h) approve the text of the ballot for voting in a single-mandate electoral district and, if the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation has taken an appropriate decision, arrange for the printing of ballots for voting in a single-mandate electoral district;

(i) provide territorial election commissions with ballots for voting in the federal electoral district and single-mandate electoral district in cases provided for by this Federal Law;

(j) make arrangements for the delivery of absentee certificates for voting in the election of deputies of the State Duma, other electoral documents to lower election commissions in accordance with a procedure established by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;

(k) monitor compliance with the unified procedure for vote-counting, determination of voting returns and election results in the territory of the electoral district;

(l) determine election results in a single mandate electoral district and voting returns in the federal electoral district and forward the information concerning the election results in the single-mandate electoral district and the voting returns for the federal electoral district in the given territory to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, publish summary data about the election results and the data contained in the protocols of voting returns submitted by lower election commissions in accordance with the procedure and within time limits established by this Federal Law;

(m) issue a certificate of election to registered candidate elected deputy of the State Duma in the given single-mandate electoral district;

(n) exercise control over provision of territorial and precinct election commissions with premises, transport and communication facilities and implementation of decisions taken by election commission regarding other issues of logistical support of the election;

(o) ensure compliance with the quotas of technological equipment, the procedure for safekeeping of electoral documents and their transfer to archives;

(p) keep voters informed about the time and the procedure for the performance of electoral actions, the progress of the election campaign;

(q) organize repeat elections and by-elections of deputies of the State Duma;

(r) exercise other powers under this Federal Law.

2. The term of powers of a district election commission in the election of deputies of the State Duma shall expire on the day of the first meeting held by a district election commission formed for administration of the election of deputies of the State Duma of the next convocation in accordance with this Federal Law.

Article 27. Powers of a Territorial Election Commission

1. A territorial election commission shall:

(a) exercise control over the preparation and conduct of the election of deputies of the State Duma in the given territory, inform the population about addresses and telephone numbers of precinct election commissions;

(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;

(d) compile voter lists separately for each precinct in the given territory with the exception of the cases provided in Clauses 3 to 6 Article 15 of this Federal Law;

(e) distribute funds allocated for the preparation and conduct of the election and, among other things, distribute a part of the funds between precinct election commissions, exercise control over their proper use;

(f) together with a district election commission ensure the observance in the given territory of legal conditions of election campaigning established by this Federal Law, other federal laws by candidates for election to the State Duma, registered candidates, electoral associations, electoral blocs;

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

(h) issue absentee certificates for voting in the election of deputies of the State Duma to voters;

(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, determination of voting returns and election results in the appropriate territory;

(k) establish the voting returns in the given territory, present these returns to media representatives and furnish protocols of voting returns to the district election commission;

(l) ensure safekeeping and transfer of documents relating to the preparation and conduct of the election in accordance with a procedure 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) keep voters informed about the time and the procedure for the performance of electoral actions, the progress of the election campaign;

(o) exercise other powers under this Federal Law.

2. The term of powers of a territorial election commission in the election of deputies of the State Duma shall expire 15 days after the day of official publication of the general election results if no complaints (statements) and protests have been received by a higher 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 have been contested or challenged, the powers of a territorial election commission shall expire after a final decision has been handed down on the substance of the complaint (statement), protest by a higher commission or a court.

Article 28. 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, as well as the day and place of voting;

(b) correct the voter list for the given electoral precinct and, in cases provided by Clauses 3 to 6 Article 14 of this Federal Law, compile and correct a voter list, familiarize voters with the voter list, consider complaints about errors and inaccuracies in the voter 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 election commission;

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

(f) issue absentee certificates for voting in the election of deputies of the State Dume to voters;

(g) organize voting on the voting premises on voting day as well as early voting;

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

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

(j) ensure safekeeping and transfer of documents relating to the preparation and conduct of the election in accordance with the procedure 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 ten days after the official publication of the election general results if no complaints (statements) and protests have been received by a higher 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. The powers of a precinct election commission shall end after a final decision has been passed on the substance of the complaint (statement), protest by a higher commission or by a court if the voting returns are contested or appealed.

Article 29. Openness in the Activity of Election Commissions

1. Members and representatives of higher election commissions, a candidate registered by the given or a higher election commission or his/her agent, an authorized representative or agent of an electoral association, electoral bloc which has registered a federal list of candidates or a candidate on the said list may attend all meetings of any election commission and be present when votes are being counted and an appropriate precinct, territorial election commission is working with voter lists, ballots, absentee certificates for voting in the election of deputies of the State Duma, protocols of voting returns and election results. The aforementioned persons shall not need any additional permission from the election commission to attend the meetings and be present when the election commission is working with the said electoral documents. The appropriate election commission shall provide free access for the aforementioned persons to meetings and to premises where it is counting votes and working with the said electoral documents. Media representatives may also be present at the commission's meetings, at vote counting and when the appropriate election commission is working with the said electoral documents.

2. The appropriate election commission shall inform the election commission of the next higher level, each candidate registered in the given single-mandate electoral district or his/her agent, the authorized representative or the agent of each electoral association, electoral bloc which has registered federal lists of candidates about the time when the commission is to hold its meetings or work with the said documents.

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

4. Election commissions shall inform voters about the results of registration of candidates, lists of candidates, biographies of registered candidates and other data of these candidates which were received by the election commission in accordance with this Federal law, voting returns for each registered candidate, federal list of candidates.

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

6. Observers, media representatives, foreign (international) observers may be present in other election commissions when these commissions are engaged in determining the voting returns, election results, drawing up protocols of voting returns, election results and when votes are being 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, 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 candidate registered in a single-mandate electoral district, each electoral association, electoral bloc which registered a federal list of candidates, each public association shall be entitled to appoint several observers to appropriate precinct election commissions, who on voting day, including the day of early voting, may monitor the proceedings on the voting premises in rotation during the time indicated in Clause 4 of this Article.

9. The powers of an observer shall be certified by written credentials issued by a candidate registered in a single-mandate electoral district, or his/her agent, 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, full address of his/her place of residence and the number of the electoral precinct, the name of the election commission (district, territorial, precinct) where the observer is sent. These credentials shall be valid if produced together with a passport or an equivalent identity paper. No advance notifications 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 (precinct election commission or any other commission) at any time from the first meeting of the appropriate election commission until the work on the protocol of voting returns, election results, including the results of vote recounting is finished.

11. Observers shall be entitled to:

(a) inspect voter lists;

(b) be present on 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 voter lists, number of ballots issued to voters, canceled ballots; watch votes being counted on 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 protocols of voting returns drawn up by the given precinct election commission and protocols of voting returns, election results drawn up by other election commissions to which he/she is sent, make or receive from appropriate election commissions copies of the said protocols and documents attached thereto as well as other documents which have been 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 the observer's request the election commission shall certify the said copies or issue certified copies of the said documents to him/her.

(h) appeal decisions and actions (inaction) of the precinct election commission, other election commissions in the next higher election commission, the election commission of a Subject of the Russian Federation, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation or in a court;

(i) be present when appropriate 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 when asked to do so by them;

(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 appropriate election commission.

13. Media representatives shall be entitled to examine decisions and protocols of the voting returns or election results drawn up by all election commissions, make, or receive from the appropriate 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. In this case, the aforementioned persons shall mark the certified document with the words this is a true copy, sign the copy, affix the seal of the given election commission and indicate the date of certification.

15. Non-voting members of election commissions and observers present at the voting and at vote counting on the premises of precinct election commissions may wear conspicuous badges or cards which must contain no signs of election campaigning and show their status and whom they represent.

Article 30. Foreign (International) Observers

1. Foreign (international) observers shall receive a permission for entry into the Russian Federation in accordance with the 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. Proposals to send invitations may be made by international and national government and non-government organizations and private persons that 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 factions in the State Duma.

3. The Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation shall issue a foreign (international) observer with an identity card 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 one of the bodies or persons listed in Clause 2 of this Article. This identity card shall allow the foreign (international) observer to carry on his/her activity during the preparation and conduct of the election.

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 end on the day of official publication of the general election results.

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 Subjects of the Russian Federation shall render him/her the necessary assistance.

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

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

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 31. Organization of the Activity of Election Commissions

1. The activity of election commissions shall be organized 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, however, not earlier than the expiry of the term of powers of the election commission of the previous composition. By such time not less than two-thirds of the established number of voting commission member shall be appointed.

3. An election commission which does not act on a permanent basis shall hold its first meeting not later than 3 days after its formation. The election commission shall be competent to start its activity 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. As a rule, the chairman of a district election commission shall hold a diploma or an academic degree in law.

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 voting members of the commission.

6. Voting members of election commissions shall 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 issues related to the financing of the preparation and conduct of the election, on the registration of candidates (lists of candidates), on voting returns and election results, on declaration of the election to have not taken place or to be null and void, on the holding of repeat elections, on the annulment of decisions of lower election commissions shall be taken by election commissions at their meetings by the majority of the established total number of the voting members of the commission.

9. Decisions of election commissions on other issues shall be adopted by the majority of votes cast by the voting members of the commission present at the meeting.

10. 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.

11. On the request of any member of an election commission and any member of a higher 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 being considered by the commission at its meeting in accordance with the approved agenda.

12. Minutes of proceedings shall be kept at all meetings of an election commission; all documents coming to an election commission shall be registered.

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

14. Members of an election commission who dissent from the decision adopted 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 proceedings, attached to the said minutes and made known by the chairman of the election commission to the higher election commission within three days, or immediately, if the dissenting opinion is expressed on voting day or the day following voting day.

15. Election commissions may hire part-time personnel on the basis of labor and civil-law contracts for the performance of work related to the preparation and conduct of the election within the limits of the funds allocated to it from the federal budget.

16. During the period of the preparation and conduct of the election every week the TV and/or radio broadcasting organizations indicated in Clause 2 Article 55 of this Federal Law shall provide free of charge not less than 15 minutes of air time on their channels to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and the TV and/or radio broadcasting organizations indicated in Clause 3 Article 55 of this Federal Law not less than 10 minutes of air time to the election commissions of the Subjects of the

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