In the process of registration, candidates and parties must pass a “signature filter,” i.e. they must collect a certain number of signatures to qualify for registration. Refusals to register a candidate or party occur for other reasons as well, and these can impact even candidates and parties exempt from signature collection. Election participants often find their nomination and registration obstructed by election commissions organizing the elections as well as by local administrations.
Pubic administrative resources are used massively and widely at the pre-election campaign stage. These resources are used not just to benefit individual candidates and parties, but to ensure election turnout and put pressure on other election participants.
A characteristic feature of this stage of the elections are violations of street and outdoor campaigning rules, which are linked to the increase in activity of election candidates and parties on the eve of the final campaign. Rather than being the work of one specific party or candidate, such violations are often committed by different election participants and, as a rule, are curtailed by law enforcement agencies.
There are, however, increasingly more cases being reported of hindrance of lawful campaign activities, and law enforcement agencies do not always intervene to prevent such acts—which have now become habitual for the pre-election period in Russia.
Notable in the current election are documented cases of vote buying, which have been observed not just in the municipal elections, where this type of violation is not uncommon, but also in the regional election campaigns of governors and legislatures.
See the full report in English here: PDF (EN)
See the full report in Russian here: PDF (RU)