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16:05
11 June 2020
Moscow Mayor's Office to hand out cash vouchers to maximise participation in upcoming constitutional plebiscite
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Moscow Mayor's Office to hand out cash vouchers to maximise participation in upcoming constitutional plebiscite

Moscow Mayor's Office to hand out cash vouchers to maximise participation in upcoming constitutional plebiscite
The newspaper reads: "Constitutional amendments are my choice"
Photo:
Alexey Smagin / Kommersant

Authorities in Moscow will raffle off cash vouchers worth a total of 10 billion roubles ($144.3 million) among participants in the upcoming vote on amendments to the Constitution, news agency Interfax reported on Thursday citing Alexei Nemeryuk, head of Moscow's Department of Trade and Services.


Every citizen that attends the vote will receive a digital code, which will act as a lottery number. Voters then have the option of taking part in the online lottery through Moscow's 'Active Citizen' app and potentially obtain one of two million cash vouchers. The vouchers will be eligible for use in the city's shops and restaurants, and will stimulate consumer demand amid the coronavirus recession, according to Nemeryuk.

Similar lotteries will take place across the country, as the government intends to draw in voters using financial incentives.

The Krasnoyarsk region has outlined plans for a lottery involving apartments, cars and smartphones, although its organizers claim that it has nothing to do with the upcoming plebiscite. News website Znak reported that authorities in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region are planning to hold a quiz to maximize participation.

Election commissions nationwide intend to hand out concert and lottery tickets to increase voter turnout, according to website Open Media.

Russia's plebiscite on amendments to the Constitution has been set for July 1. Voters in Moscow and the Nizhny Novgorod region will be able to cast their ballots online from June 25 right up until the voting date.

If the majority of Russians vote in favour of the amendments, Vladimir Putin's presidential terms will be reset, allowing him to get re-elected and stay in power until 2036.

The amendments state that Russia is the legal successor to the Soviet Union. They also mention God and outline the Russian people as a “state-forming” ethnic group. Another proposed change is the description of marriage as an explicitly heterosexual union.