Russia’s Online Voting System Briefly Crashes on First Day of Election

March 16, 2024

Russia's online voting system briefly crashed on Friday, the first day of the March 15-17 presidential race, with independent election observers saying the likely cause was "huge numbers" of workers being forced to vote. "The system has temporarily switched to electronic line management due to the unprecedented number of people wishing to vote online," read a message on the e-voting platform. Stanislav Andreychuk, a member at the independent election watchdog Golos, said a "huge number" of workers had been pressured to cast their votes in the first hours of the election. "The remote electronic voting portals can't handle the load. The system's operators mention a great 'interest,' but we understand its nature well — beginning in the morning, people are voting at their workplaces under the watchful eye of their superiors," he said.