Moscow, Russia — Russian citizens voted on a measure that would keep President Vladimir Putin in office longer than currently allowed by the Russia’s constitution. The voters approved changes to the constitution that would keep Putin in power until 2036. Amid concerns over coronavirus, Russians were given a week to cast their vote on the important public question.
According to election officials, the overall voter turnout topped 65%, with some regions seeing almost 90% of eligible voters participating. Most polls are now closed and 72% of votes are in support of the referendum, with approximately 20% of precincts counted.
As expected, there are widespread reports from critics of the current regime of voting irregularities and pressure for voters to approve the measure. The Kremlin denounced extended voting time due to Covid-19 as a way to manipulate the results of the vote. Critics of the Kremlin along with independent election observers are questioning the official results.