Observers Invited to Explore Elections Commission Office

MTJournalists and election monitors perusing the commission facility Thursday.
The Central Elections Commission opened the doors of its election headquarters to foreign observers Thursday to explain the preparations and logistics for Sunday's State Duma vote.

A 90-minute virtual tour of the building acquainted the observers with the equipment to be used in casting, tallying and reporting the votes, as well as showing monitors where they go for lunch, for a cigarette or to the bathroom.

Part of the information provided during the session covered the release of election results Sunday.

Total turnout figures will be provided at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on large screens inside the commission headquarters.

The first preliminary results from vote counting will be released at 9 p.m., after the closing of the country's last polling stations, in the Kaliningrad region. Updates on the count will then be released on an hourly basis throughout the night and on Monday.

The tabulation of votes and publishing of results for the electronic media will be handled by a national computer network -- the State Automated System "Elections" -- commission officials said during Thursday's tour.

One-third of the 2,850 polling stations in Moscow will be automated and hooked up directly to the system, according to the Moscow city elections commission.