Sobyanin and Pamfilova - about remote voting on amendments to the Constitution. Exclusive interview

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin took part in electronic voting on amendments to the Constitution. How organized was the will of the citizens, he discussed with the CEC head Ella Pamfilova in an exclusive interview to TV channel “Russia 24”. In the video, they were joined by the head of the Nizhny Novgorod region Gleb Nikitin.

– just a few minutes ago ended electronic voting. For the first time in a nationwide vote conducted such a large-scale experiment. Could you tell us what it’s for, but I’m sure it was a tremendous, painstaking, challenging work? For these innovations?

Pamfilova: I would have asked Mr Sobyanin to start because they are the initiators. And better than he, few who knows all about it.

Sobyanin: In fact, we each step were checked with the Central election commissions. We had a long debate, the discussion for this reason. Anyway, we moved in parallel. As far as I know, the Central election Commission developed a technology called “Mobile voter,” remote voting. But we were moving a little faster why? Because usually, especially in rural areas, the voting is underway. In the big cities (and this is the trend worldwide, it’s not only for Moscow), the population becomes more passive. And we see from year to year less and less voter turnout. Even if it is very noisy scandalous elections, we still see this trend. In recent years, electing the deputies of the city Duma, local authorities, from 20 to 30 percent. Mayor – 30 percent. Maybe it’s good. In the end, elect those who exercise their activity. But you will agree that this is not normal, when a third, less than a third of voters decide the fate of the city, region, district and so on.

So we started to think with Ella Alexandrovna said many times about how to energize voters. Came up with different options. In addition decided to try some more technical stuff and electronic voting, which is becoming more and more familiar to citizens. And decided: let’s experiment, let’s give the opportunity to citizens to decide, and they do wonder or not. They trust? And that made this decision, began to develop, conduct experiments.

First on the “Active citizen” was a massive vote. About a thousand different polls related to the names of streets, metro stations, with road projects and, in the end, a renovation. It is vital things relating to the most valuable thing a man can have. It is their property. We understand that it is relevant. Today, the “Active citizen” is already registered 3.5 million Muscovites. I think the vote in the Moscow city Duma have shown that there is such a demand. And when people were talking about the vote on the Constitution, we understood that this option may be required. Because it’s not absolutely regular ballot, and a somewhat unusual vote. There was a desire to give as many people to come to a vote. It was decided to conduct an experiment we in the Nizhny Novgorod region, to create such a system. And we had already experience, respectively. Therefore, any errors we have considered, strengthened the system security of the system and so on. I believe that done correctly.

Pamfilova: And given the fact that I am the main critic of the entire system. Very critical, very tough. We hardly went because I weighed all the pros. But since the law was passed, and gave the opportunity to the regions, the regions initiated. We selected two of the most prepared. Of course, without Moscow anywhere, because it is in the database. And, you know, we will continue this work, because suddenly now felt such a great need. I this morning said: there is a huge number of us in the CEC. It turns out that many rethe regions would like to vote that way, and they complain, ask “Why we can’t do now?” Therefore, nowhere to go, we have to go after nationwide voting, since suddenly such a big need.

I hasten to reassure them: traditional voting is not going anywhere, still the majority will vote. However, along with it, to give people the opportunity to choose what they see fit.

Sobyanin: The main thing is to give the opportunity.

Pamfilova: And especially now, at the end of the pandemic, so many people gladly took advantage of. As I know now, in 20 hours, we ended today, June 30, remote e-voting in the two regions. Now, I understand that the territorial election Commission on electronic voting is already rewriting the external storage medium this formed the list of participants of voting. All this will take place in the presence of observers. By the way, the territorial Commission is composed of representatives of the six parties, so everything is absolutely open. As far as I know, already 1 million 190 thousand for the two regions. Voted of them, in my opinion, 1 million 90 thousand. Data changes.

Sobyanin: E-voting stopped at 20:00. Voter turnout was 93 percent.

– I Have personally gone around five minutes to vote online.

Pamfilova: But I, unfortunately, could not. Ask me why. Yes, because I’m not a Muscovite. I’m in the suburbs. And so would also have used.

– Sergey Semenovich, how can you explain such a high turnout? You said that Muscovites are reluctant, now — such a huge turnout.

Sobyanin: High turnout. And wonder how a million people could sign up? I should firstly say what a million people. Million people – is only 15 percent of voters in Moscow. Because any experiment in Moscow is just a huge scale. Andz 7.5 million voters signed a million. And it is also clear why. You’re a Muscovite?


Sobyanin: And I know that a significant part of Muscovites, according to various estimates, from 20 to 25 percent, do not live in the district where they are registered. They have Moscow registration, registration, and live in another district. And on the day of voting to go to another district doesn’t want to. Especially if they are in different parts of the city. This is the first. The second — in the summer time a lot of people (especially pensioners, elderly people) goes to the dacha. And leaving the specifically not on Saturday-Sunday and Nov. These people also fall out of the opportunity to come to your site to vote. A large number went on vacation. This year’s smaller, but still the movement has already begun. Look at all the planes that fly to the South, already overcrowded. It also suggests that started a movement. Plus, of course, the pandemic, of course, the risk, of course, reluctance to go to the polling station. Although everything is sterile, to be honest, there’s nowhere. But psychologically all the same. We, three months after, you still feel the danger. So actually it is a little. I think it’s a little — million.

Pamfilova: But it’s the most motivated. It is an active part of civil society. They have consciously registered, because they consciously decided to vote, so such a high turnout.

Sobyanin: About the turnout, by the way, on electronic voting. It is amazing. Ella me last time I asked: “Why such a turnout then? This is not the Soviet Union! You what? This has never been the same!” We make a big mistake when trying to compare turnout in a normal vote. Why? What is just now said, recorded the most motivated citizens in the first place. And secondly, if you register, you have, in fact, made the first step for voting. That is all aboutsteel passive are on the list — and all. They are there, these lists. And it is the people that have registered your account on if they didn’t have it, signed up for electronic voting. That is, they actively took a few actions, purposefully, with a desire to vote. Bought a ticket, in fact. It’s like buying a ticket for the tram and not to go. Of course, you bought a ticket on the tram and went. So here: register for electronic voting, respectively, voted. Therefore, such a high turnout, conventional turnout. In fact, the registration and turnout is practically the same thing.

Pamfilova: I just wanted to add that basically it is, of course, wonderful, and active citizens. But of course, as happens in the family has its black sheep. Someone is trying or tried to, may be, to vote and so and so, to verify system strength. Of course, there are such cases. Why we made the decision that electronic voting ends today, 30 June and not 1 July. First, citizens who for various reasons are unable to vote, tomorrow can you come quietly to your precinct to vote. And for this time now in front of the press, the pool of observers, the Commission would like time to compare the lists.

Sobyanin: To those who have voted electronically, are not duplicated on paper. Although it lists repeatedly verified. But, nevertheless, who knows what. Again we will verify.

Pamfilova: in Order to identify those who are tried.

Sobyanin: I think all these attempts two times to vote — it’s a pointless kind of story. We are still there or there going to take when to start checking lists, electronic and traditional voting.

Pamfilova: that is why the two reasons was that only until June 30. The possibility if suddenly did not work, July 1 to vote normally, and the second is a list to check and to catch all these “rybachek in troubled waters”.

Well, Yes. But incidentally , according to the program “Moscow longevity” our seniors are very active. They have no problem to vote, in my opinion.

Pamfilova: I recently received a telegram from a well-deserved Muscovite. He was 93. And he wrote the telegram in the country, far away: “How so? I wanted, I checked”. Came, found out that this is not a provocation, what he really wanted. Yes, such an active grandfather. He was helped, he voted.

Sobyanin: We are here to play it safe, really safe. How? First, we did not open the new office after 5, I think, in the number, because was afraid that will specially open a personal account on to attempt some sort of provocation to arrange. Public observers were recommended to us — we agreed not to register, that is, cut off this story. Secondly, any slightest apparent inaccuracy of the data, discrepancy data, or a suspicious telephone which is recorded, — it was cancelled. About 98 thousand applicants really didn’t get the possibility of electronic voting. 98 thousand — just imagine what number? That is all we saw at the initial stage as a risk, or the risk zone or some doubt, we interpreted in favor of that… Please, there are other opportunities to vote. There is a polling station, voting at home, if the person cannot come. Electronic voting should be as protected from such risks, especially since it was an experiment. Especially Ella said to me, “Under your personal responsibility.” I understand, when the Chairman of the CEC says — personal responsibility.

– Managed to convince. Of course, many are concerned about data security. Still enter personal data. As the system is secure? I know that there were attempts of hacking.

Sobyanin:… Protected almost 100 percent of nothing is impossible to protect, but she seriouslyabout protected. We before to make it work, tested many times. Attracted hackers who tried to break the system, tried to disturb her work, and took such… It’s a tank that can…

Pamfilova: But it is a good hackers, they’re on request.

Sobyanin: They are on request. Moreover, we put up a prize of 2 million to hackers who break our system. But since no one broke, had to give those 2 million developers. During the voting were also hacking attempts, there were attempts of provocations and so on. None of them was successful. There were some minor problems, but they did not affect the quality of the vote who wanted to vote. This is completely formed, reserved, serious system. It was examined by our not only our, but also international experts gave a high evaluation.

– MS Pamfilova, can you talk about that and other regions in the subsequent voting also will participate? In addition to Nizhny Novgorod region.

Pamfilova: we Have now already five applications, only the official open. Actually wanting regions was much more. And of course, we also have developed their own measures. We will compare who is better. Take all the best Moscow experience. At least we have planned in September too, to conduct several pilot projects, if those regions that wanted to agree. And Yes, if there is such a need, there is a demand, will develop. Very carefully, very carefully. That is, providing security, invulnerability system, but will definitely move. Life pushes us. There is a challenge, there is a request companies. Moreover, we do not know how we will live in such a situation, when a pandemic of a different sort will come back. But life goes on, and we need to live and do whatever we need to do. This, incidentally, is a very good system.

Sobyanin: we Must be prepared for any threat and give citizens the maximum opportunity to participate in elections of bodies of local saoopravleniya authorities. In fact, the constitutional right to vote – not just the technology of vote, and the right to choose. And we must ensure that this is the main condition and the main option to choose. Even if you’re sick if you’re at some remove, abroad, even if you are in space you are, you must exercise the right. Today’s modern technologies provide the opportunity. The only problem: to develop the right program to test it, use the necessary power to do a convenient service. That’s all. Everything else is pugalki and so on. We have them a lot of time passed. But the world today is digital. We live in a digital world, and sooner or later these technologies will find their way. And rightly Ella says: we need to do everything in time, gradually, incrementally improving these technologies. Then it will be a good result.

Yes, Moscow is ready to share its experience.

Sobyanin: We are ready to give everything! All to give the CEC, all our achievements, technologies, software. You know, in this respect, we are completely open.

Pamfilova: Moscow is always a donor in all respects.

Sobyanin: Thank you.

– we live attached Nizhny Novgorod oblast. On direct link — Governor Gleb Nikitin. Ella, I now give you the floor. I would like about the situation there, too, to find out.

Pamfilova: Dear Gleb, I’m glad to see and hear. Also wanted, first, to Express to you huge gratitude. We from your region virtually no there were no complaints, no problems with you not there. I am very glad that we, along with Moscow chose you. It is also, Mr Sobyanin, under the personal responsibility of Gleb Sergeyevich. He called me and said, “I will answer.” And, thank God, all right.

I would like to say that not only… Sorry, take advantage of the opportunityYu today. We now have the minimum number of complaints. We have so far no complaints, which should be considered by the CEC.