Navalny outside polling station 1488, where he and his wife Julia, voted. Russian tweeters are having a field day with the number, which is popular among white supremacists
. Liberals have expressed concern about Navalny's nationalistic views. For more on this issue, read Robert Coalson's piece here
Navalny himself took the irony in stride. "Yes, my voting station is really that number," he wrote on Twitter.
The story so far appears to be turnout, which at this point is significantly lower than it was for presidential elections last year. Navalny's hopes rest largely on overcoming the government's ability to bring civil servants to the polls in large numbers, by getting otherwise disaffected voters to the ballot box.
Here Aleksei Venediktov, editor-in-chief of Echo Moskvy radio station, says turnout in Moscow at 12pm was 7.14%, compared to 12.4% at the same time during presidential elections.
RFE/RL's Russian service, (live-blogging in Russian here
), reports concerns of prison voting, where turnout is extremely high and observers are scarce. An election observer for Navalny reports similar mass "get-out-the-vote" efforts at a hospital
. The concern is that vulnerable populations are put under duress to vote for the state-backed candidate.
In "the other" competitive race - the battle for mayor of Yekaterinburg - opposition candidate Yevgeny Roizman reports on Facebook
that all exit polls have him ahead. He says he is concerned, however, that more than half of respondents refused to answer.
A picture of Navalny's campaign at work, earlier this morning. Navalny, who has said his strategy was partially inspired by a race in the HBO TV series, "The Wire
," ran a campaign that contrasted starkly with Sobyanin's. Working with thousands of volunteers, the candidate set up "cubes" - a 21st century version of a soapbox - to talk to voters throughout Moscow. Sobyanin, a technocrat who is generally popularl and has been credited with cosmetic improvements to the city, refused to debate and appeared almost exclusively at official mayoral events.
Strong words on low voter turnout today from Grigory Chkhartishvili (AKA Boris Akunin)
, a beloved mystery-novelist, and a supporter of the opposition:
"Turnout is shamefully low right now. Some bad thoughts right now: - maybe this serves us right? Perhaps we have what we deserve? Hey, you all at the dacha, come back to Moscow. The polling stations are open until 8. If you don't do it, then you can't whine that life is worthless. You yourself will be to blame."
Our Russian service reports
that in Volgograd, the head of the region himself violated election law, by voting in the election without actually having permanent residence.