International Electoral Standards: Guidelines for reviewing the legal framework of elections

International Electoral Standards: Guidelines for reviewing the legal framework of elections

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Published: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 116
ISBN: 91-89098-88-9
Binding: Paperback
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What constitutes a fair electoral system and a fair election? What are the guiding principles for reviewing electoral legislation? IDEA’s book on International Electoral Standards sets out the basic legal components governing elections for the purpose of reviewing, drafting or amending electoral legislation. It aims to contribute to promoting uniformity, reliability, consistency, accuracy as well as professionalism in elections.

The book covers a range of areas including boundary delimitation, electoral management bodies, voter registration, campaign finance and expenditure, balloting, vote counting, complaints and the role of parties and candidates.

INTRODUCTION

1.THE BASES OF INTERNATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED ELECTORAL STANDARDS

  • Primary sources
  • Supplementary sources
  • General approach
  • Accurate translations
  • Prioritizing recommendations
  • Rationalizing recommendations
  • Finer detail: laws or regulations?

2.STRUCTURING THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK

  • Scope of the legal framework for elections
  • Use and merit of the written law
  • Constitutional provisions
  • General versus specific election legislation
  • Election legislation versus other legislation
  • Election legislation and EMB´s instructions and directions
  • Election legislation and codes of conduct
  • Checklist

3.THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM

  • Choosing an electoral system
  • Institutions elected and frequency of elections
  • Special provisions for under-represented groups
  • Checklist

4.BOUNDARY DELIMITATION, DISTRICTING OR DEFINING BOUNDARIES OF ELECTORAL UNITS

  • Equality of voting strength
  • Reciprocity and non-discrimination
  • Checklist  

5.THE RIGHT TO ELECT AND TO BE ELECTED

  • Universal and equal suffrage
  • Non-discrimination
  • Scrutiny of restrictions on suffrage
  • Checklist

6.ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BODIES

  • General overview
  • Formation of electoral management bodies
  • Operation of electoral management bodies
  • Checklist

7.VOTER REGISTRATION AND VOTER REGISTERS

  • Transparency
  • Protection of personal data and information
  • Checklist

8.BALLOT ACCESS FOR POLITICAL PARTIES AND CANDIDATES

  • Equitable treatment
  • Registration of political parties
  • Ballot access
  • Checklist

9.DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL CAMPAIGNS

  • Campaign violence
  • Campaign mechanisms
  • Sanction
  • Basic assumptions
  • Code of conduct reflecting campaign legislation provisions
  • Checklist

10.MEDIA ACCESS AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

  • Equitable treatment and access
  • Limitations on free expression
  • Checklist

11.CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND EXPENDITURE

  • Public funding
  • Private funding contributions
  • Expenditure control
  • Reporting and disclosure requirements
  • Monitoring and enforcing compliance
  • Checklist

12.BALLOTING

  • Secrecy of the ballot
  • Voting procedures
  • Balancing voter convenience with safeguards against fraud
  • Checklist

13.COUNTING AND TABULATING VOTES

  • General principles
  • Counting ballots
  • Tabulating results
  • Publication of counting, tabulation and consolidation of results
  • Effective date of certified results
  • Personal safety exception
  • Checklist

14.ROLE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PARTIES AND CANDIDATES

  • Observation and monitoring role
  • Recording complaints and challenges
  • Rights of representatives of the parties and candidates
  • Conduct of representatives of the parties and candidates
  • Checklist

15.ELECTORAL OBSERVERS

  • Domestic election observers
  • International election observers
  • Checklist

16.COMPLIANCE WITH AND ENFORCEMENT OF ELECTORAL LAW

ANNEX 1. PRIMARY SOURCES FOR INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

  • The United Nations
  • European human rights instruments
  • American human rights instruments
  • African human rights instruments
  • Other inter-governmental and international organizations

ANNEX 2. SUPPLEMENTARY SOURCES

ANNEX 3. MODEL CODES

ANNEX 4. GLOSSARY OF ELECTORAL TERMS

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