Forms of special voting arrangements (SVAs) conventionally include early, postal, online, proxy voting and use of mobile ballot boxes. Some of these SVAs involve voting within supervised voting stations and some enable voting without/outside polling stations. Over the past years, a growing number of countries across the globe, and in Europe, have utilised alternatives, with early, postal and proxy voting becoming more common. In the past months, the COVID-19 pandemic has led many governments and electoral management bodies to increasingly consider adopting new or scaling up these SVAs to avoid crowded voting on an election day.
For in-person voting, examples of elections held in recent weeks in countries such as South Korea offer useful insights on what measures can be adopted to mitigate risks of disease contagion while voters assemble to cast their ballots at polling stations.
The lecture, by Therese Pearce Laanela, head of Electoral Processes of International IDEA, will discuss the tension between providing convenience for voters by offering different ways of casting their votes and the need to ensure the elections are held with integrity.
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