Voting begins early in Russia's remote regions

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Voting begins early in Russia's remote regions

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Polling in Russia’s most hard-to-reach regions for presidential elections has begun early, ahead of the vote main vote on March 4.

Ballot boxes have arrived in remote Siberia, the Ural mountains and the North Caucasus by snowmobile, helicopter and even horse-drawn carriage.

“Everyone wants to contribute to federal or regional elections. We cannot deprive people of this option,” said Svetlana Shchemelinina of the regional electoral commission for the district of Nelvesk on Sakhalin Island.

Those serving in Russia’s military began voting on Friday. Russian expatriates around the world will get their chance from Saturday.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is running for the presidency for a third term, has ordered webcams to stream footage of vote counting from across Russia to allay fears of vote-rigging.

That call comes after accusations of ballot stuffing during December’s parliamentary election.