Electing the president in Russia is pretty straight forward. There are no electors acting as middle-men like there are in the United States. The president is elected directly by the Russian voters. The candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the vote is elected. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent a runoff election is held approximately 2 weeks later. The run-off election is held between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first election. The candidate with the most votes in the runoff election is elected. This is the basic top-two runoff electoral method for single winner elections.
Russian presidential elections have a few unique traits about them:
- Russia has 9 times zones, which means that the last polling stations close 9 hours after the first polling stations do. If results from the first parts of the country are aired as they come in it could affect voting behavior in parts of Russia, where the polling stations are still open.
- There are no “vice-presidential” candidates or even vice-presidents at all in Russia. If a Russia President dies or resigns from office, the Prime Minister take his or her place
- The fairness of Russian elections has been a topic of controversy especially in the last few elections. The governing party has been accused of manipulating the vote and coercing candidates not to run in the election.