Early voting is set to occur in the occupied regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson during the upcoming Russian presidential elections, according to reports from Kommersant.

The duration of the early voting period will be decided by the Kremlin-appointed authorities, but is expected to begin a week before the main three-day elections, mirroring the procedure used in September 2023.

Russian law permits early voting in “hard-to-reach areas,” a category that includes the annexed territory of Zaporizhzhia, as outlined by the Kommersant article.

In addition to early voting, polling stations will also be set up in the annexed regions on the main election days. Furthermore, arrangements will be made for voting in locations other than polling stations, such as at voters’ homes.

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The Central Election Commission (CEC), as reported by Vedomosti on Feb. 7, estimates that there are approximately 4.39 million eligible voters in the annexed regions, including 1.97 million in Donetsk and 1.65 million in Luhansk.

The total number of voters in Russia stands at 112.3 million, including those in the annexed territories, according to CEC's figures from early 2024.

Experts have cautioned that early voting and voting outside of polling stations increases the risk of election results being manipulated.

The Russian presidential elections are scheduled to take place from March 15 to 17, 2024, with Vladimir Putin seeking reelection for a fifth term.

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