The Latest: Russian monitors report election irregularities
MOSCOW – The Latest on Russia’s presidential election (all times local):
Election monitors are reporting irregularities at voting stations across Russia in a presidential election whose only open question is how many people cast ballots.
Vladimir Putin is certain to win a fourth term in Sunday’s election, so voter apathy is widespread. Authorities have spent unprecedented funds to get out the vote to ensure he has a strong mandate for his next six years in office.
Election monitoring group Golos reported dozens of apparent violations Sunday, from the Russian Far East to Moscow. The problems included multiple ballot boxes placed out of sight of observation cameras, and last-minute voter registration changes likely designed to boost turnout.
Some 145,000 observers are monitoring the voting in the world’s largest country, including 1,500 foreigners and representatives from opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s political movement.
Navalny himself is barred from running. Putin faces seven challengers but none poses a serious threat.