NewsPutin opts for online voting in contentious Russian presidential election

Putin opts for online voting in contentious Russian presidential election

Władimir Putin
Władimir Putin
Images source: © Kremlin
1:57 PM EDT, March 15, 2024
In Russia, a three-day presidential election is currently underway. Over 113 million ballots have been dispatched to approximately 94,000 polling locations. The elections have been marred by numerous incidents. Many were curious about how the incumbent leader, Vladimir Putin, would cast his vote. His decision took everyone by surprise.

Many statements from Russian media or government officials are examples of propaganda. These reports contribute to the informational warfare waged by the Russian Federation.

From the early hours, speculation fueled by Russian propaganda about when and where Putin would vote was widespread. His spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, stated early on that he would share such information with the public as soon as it became available.

Dozens of incidents disrupt the elections

Choosing to distance himself from the general populace, Putin did not vote in person. This decision could be linked to the numerous disturbances at polling places. Ballot boxes have been set ablaze and splattered with paint across the country, including in small towns, Moscow, and Saint Petersburg, where a woman hurled a Molotov cocktail into a polling place.

Unexpectedly, a video was released after 11 AM Eastern Time on the Kremlin's website, showing Putin voting online with the caption: **"Vladimir Putin voted online in the Russian presidential elections."

The video depicts Putin, often referred to as a dictator, entering his office and sitting at his desk. He clicks a mouse a few times to cast his vote and then waves at the camera. A message says: "Thank you, you have successfully voted." TASS agency highlighted that Putin has previously used this online voting method, such as in the State Duma deputy elections, but this was his first time in a presidential election.

Voting under coercion

This election will go down in history for lasting three days and including areas of Ukraine that are currently occupied by Russia, where voting is being conducted under coercive circumstances. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, sarcastically "congratulated" the dictator on his "overwhelming victory," pointing out that the Russian election is happening "without opposition, without freedom, and without choice."
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