Reported voting violations mar Russia’s parliamentary ballot

MOSCOW (AP) — Polls in Russia’s Far Eastern and Siberian regions have closed on the third and final day of a nationwide vote for a new parliament. The voting so far has been marked by numerous reports of violations, such as ballot-stuffing, inadequate ballot security and pressure on election monitors. The election Sunday is widely seen as an important part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his grip on power ahead of the 2024 presidential vote, in which control of the State Duma, or parliament, will be key. Russian media, opposition politicians and election observers have been reporting voting violations since Friday morning — the first of the three days of voting allowed this year by the government.