Electoral Justice Database

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About this database

Competition and struggle are an inherent part of elections. Therefore, electoral processes can be subject to many types of misconduct, such as the rejection of qualified voters and candidates, electoral fraud, obstruction of electoral processes both by election officials and voters, campaign finance infractions, to name a few. Any of these may lead to electoral disputes, and how disputes are handled is one of the important indicators of the impartiality of elections. Therefore, free, fair and credible elections necessitate the adoption of efficient and transparent electoral dispute resolution (EDR) mechanisms.

The Electoral Justice Database provides global comparative data on EDR mechanisms for 178 countries and territories across the globe. It mainly serves the needs of election practitioners who are keen to learn how EDR mechanisms are designed in other countries and how specific practices can lead to different outcomes. However, the database can also be used by academia, civil society, media and other actors who are closely involved in the issues related to credibility of electoral processes.

The Electoral Justice Database consists of the following four parts:

  1. Election Results 
    This part provides data on electoral dispute resolution systems designed to deal with challenges to election results. Data includes details on jurisdiction, timelines, and standing to bring such challenges.
  2. Political Party/Candidate Registration or Nomination
    This part is designed to provide comparative data on how disputes during nomination and/or registration of candidates are handled in various countries.
  3. Campaign Financing
    This part covers institutional oversight of campaign finance and the procedures of handling infractions related to breaches of regulations.
  4. Criminal Offences
    This part provides comparative data on how criminal offences related to election processes are treated. Users can find data on the types of offences described in the law and available sanctions.
Background information


The initial global comparative data on Electoral Justice (EJ) was gathered in parallel to the development of the Electoral Justice: The International IDEA Handbook published by International IDEA in 2010. This original dataset contained only two parts: one related to election results and another related to all other issues. During 2013-2014, International IDEA engaged in full scale update and expansion of the original EJ database. The database made available now is more comprehensive and targets electoral dispute resolution (EDR) mechanisms in more detail.

The new data was collected by a group of researchers who conducted desk research reviewing electoral laws and regulations around the world. Researchers also sent survey questionnaires to national EMBs and regional/local experts. The following research centers and organizations provided valuable support to collect global comparative data:

  • Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa (EISA), South Africa
  • Institute for Education in Democracy (IED), Kenya
  • Central European University, Hungary
  • In addition, a group of dedicated researchers representing different parts of the globe participated in the data collection.

It should be noted the Electoral Justice Database has not been regularly updated since its launch in 2014. Future update and maintenance of the Database is currently being discussed within the Institute.

Frequently asked questions

Who created the database?

The database was created by International IDEA using desk research conducted by in house researchers, global survey of EMBs, and also by contracting regional/local consultants.

Where does the data come from?

Data come from different sources, such as constitutions, electoral laws, materials published by electoral management bodies, as well as other reputable materials available online.

What should I do if I find missing or incorrect data?

If you note that the database has missing or incorrect data, or if you find missing sources or a need for more explanation, you can use the online form in the “Submit feedback” section. We will review the submission as soon as possible and update the database if the information submitted is accurate.

Can I get a complete export of all the data?

Yes, there are two options to export all the data in excel file:

Option 1: In the “Search the database” section please click on the “Region/political entity” menu and select “World” option. Then click on the “Search” button. This will produce all the data in the database in a table format. Data from this table can be exported into excel file by clicking on the “Export” button available at the top of the table.

Option 2: Click on the “Advanced Search” hyperlink provided below the “Search the database” section. You will be directed to a specific search interface where you can select all the questions and countries to produce online table presenting all the data. Data from this table can be exported into excel file by clicking on the “Export” button available at the top of the table. In this search interface you can also limit your search to specific sections and/or questions of the database as well as to specific regions and/or countries.

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