Vote to extend Putin’s rule faces little protest in Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities are pulling out all the stops to get people to vote on constitutional amendments that would enable President Vladimir Putin to stay in office until 2036. The nationwide vote begins Thursday and lasts for a week. To encourage turnout amid the coronavirus outbreak, authorities are luring voters with a chance to win prizes ranging from gift certificates to cars and apartments. They’ve enlisted celebrities to urge a “yes” vote on the amendments. They’ve also encouraged some businesses to pressure employees to register at the polls. The political opposition, meanwhile, has failed to mobilize a significant campaign against the vote and instead is focusing on questioning its legitimacy.