Vyacheslav Osipov, a lawmaker with the United Russia party, cast 31 votes on several initiatives Wednesday afternoon in Russia’s lower house of Parliament despite being conspicuously absent. And perhaps a little bit deceased as well. Osipov was reportedly 75.
The New York Times reports that Osipov, who had been ill for quite some time, had assigned other colleagues to vote on his behalf. Absentee voting, while fairly common, is not as common as voting on behalf of the deceased —it’s unclear as to when exactly Osipov actually died — and it’s unclear whether United Russia party members violated any laws.
Once it became publicly known that Osipov had passed, his voter card was removed from the Duma’s system in the late afternoon. Members ceased voting in Osipov’s stead once news of his death was announced. A moment of silence was held later briefly in his memory.
The United Russia party is the largest political party in the country and holds a vast number of seats in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s legislature. The Times reports that Osipov’s vote, though recorded far and wide throughout the day, did not seem to affect the outcome of any measures passed.