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Complaints of election violations in the Russian parliamentary vote were increasing Sunday amid reports of a record low turnout in Moscow, signaling voter apathy and a likely decrease in state employees being coerced to vote.The voting for the 450 seats in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, was not expected to substantially change the distribution of power, in which the pro-Kremlin United Russia party holds an absolute majority. The turnout by 6 p.m. (1500 GMT; 11 a.m. EDT) was at a record low of 29 percent, compared to over 50 percent five years earlier.Previous elections have shown that the regions with the highest turnout were where voters, mostly state employees, were pressured to cast ballots.This election is a departure from the two previous votes for the Duma, in which seats were distributed on a national party-list basis; this year, half the seats are being contested in single districts. Independent candidates were also allowed, although only 23 met the requirements to get on the ballot, according to the elections-monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.Many voters at a polling station in southwest Moscow said the only reason to cast a ballot was to take votes away from United Russia, which has dominated the parliament for more than a decade.
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