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Global overview of COVID-19 impact on elections

Global overview of COVID-19: Impact on elections

Elections postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) span the globe. Here is a list of the current elections schedule and plans, as reported by governments, electoral management bodies and news media. Please note that this list is not comprehensive but represents a snap shot of decisions and events across the globe.

Este panorama global sobre COVID-19 y las elecciones está disponible en español. 
Вся информация на этой странице также доступна на русском языке.​ 
Ikhtisar Global COVID-19: Dampak Terhadap Pemilu ini tersedia dalam Bahasa Indonesia.

تقرير جائحة كوفيد-19 وتأثيرها على الانتخابات حول العالم متاح باللغة العربية كدعم من قبل الهيئة المستقلة للانتخاب في الأردن

 
This page was updated on 4 August 2020.  
Check back on this page for updates and guidelines, based on International IDEA's research.
Please contact International IDEA via elections@idea.int if any of the information requires further updates. 

 

Analysis

From 21 February 2020 until 2 AUGUST 2020:

  • at least 69 countries and territories across the globe have decided to postpone national and subnational elections due to COVID-19, out of which at least 24 countries and territories have decided to postpone national elections and referendums;
  • at least 49 countries and territories have decided to hold national or subnational elections as originally planned despite concerns related to COVID-19 of which at least 31 have held national elections or referendums.
  • at least, 14 countries and territories have held elections that were initially postponed due to concerns related to COVID-19 of which at least 10 have held national elections or referendums. 

 

Map generated on 27 July 2020 using International IDEA’s Electoral Risk Management Tool (ERMTool)

 

Postponed elections due to COVID-19

Africa 

  • By-elections for Metsimotlhabe and Boseja South wards, Botswana (originally scheduled for May 2020)
  • Legislative elections, Chad (originally scheduled for 13 December 2020)
  • Parliamentary election, Ethiopia (originally scheduled for 29 August 2020) moved to August 2021
  • Partial legislative election, Lékoni-Lékori (Akiéni), Gabon (originally scheduled for 4 and 18 April 2020) 
  • Niamina West constituency by-election, Gambia (originally scheduled for 16 April 2020)
  • By-elections, Kenya (originally scheduled for April, June–July 2020)
  • Midterm Senatorial elections and national referendum, Liberia (originally scheduled for 13 October 2020) moved to 8 December 2020
  • By-elections for senatorial district in Bayelsa, Imo and Plateau, Nigeria (originally scheduled for March 2020)
  • Parliamentary elections, Somalia (originally scheduled for 27 November 2020) and presidential elections (originally scheduled to take place before 8 February 2021) 
  • All municipal by-elections and voter registration activities in South Africa (originally scheduled for March–May 2020)
  • Municipal in elections in Hassi El Ferid, and Jbeniana, Tunisia (originally scheduled for 28–29 March 2020) moved to 5 July 2020
  • Special interest groups elections, Uganda (originally scheduled for April–May 2020)
  • By-election in ward 16 of Chiredzi rural district council, Zimbabwe (originally scheduled for 4 April 2020)

Americas 

  • General elections, Anguilla, British overseas territory (originally scheduled for 29 June 2020) moved to (at the latest) 11 September 2020
  • Municipal elections in the Cordovan City of Río Cuarto, Argentina (originally scheduled for 29 March 2020)
  • General elections, Bolivia (originally scheduled for 3 May 2020 and  moved to 6 September 2020) and then moved again to18 October 2020; subnational elections in Bolivia (originally scheduled for March 2020)
  • Supplementary election for the position of Senator in Mato Grosso, Brazil (originally scheduled for 26 April 2020)
  • By-elections in Victoria and Rossland, Canada (originally scheduled for 4 April 2020); referendum in Kamloops, Canada (originally scheduled for 4 April 2020); by-elections in Lytton, Canada (originally scheduled for 25 April 2020); municipal elections, New Brunswick, Canada (originally scheduled for 11 May 2020) moved to May 2021 or sooner 
  • Constitutional referendum, Chile (originally planned for 26 April 2020)
  • Elections for the community action board, Colombia (originally scheduled for 26 April 2020)
  • Presidential and legislative elections, Dominican Republic (originally scheduled for 17 May 2020) moved to 5 July 2020
  • Second round of local elections in seven districts of French Guiana, overseas department and region of France (originally scheduled for 28 June 2020)
  • Local elections in Coahuila and Hidalgo, Mexico (originally scheduled for 7 June 2020)
  • Primary elections in Paraguay (originally scheduled for 12 July 2020) and Local (Municipal) elections, Paraguay (originally scheduled for 8 November 2020) moved to 2021. 
  • Local municipal elections in Chipao, Ayacucho district, Peru (originally scheduled for 29 March 2020)
  • Single constituency referendum, Falkland Islands, UK Overseas Territory (originally scheduled for 26 March 2020)
  • Local (departmental and municipal) elections, Uruguay (originally scheduled for 10 May 2020) moved to 27 September 2020 
  • Primary elections in Puerto Rico, territory of the United States (originally scheduled for 29 March 2020) and 15 states across the USA; several local elections around  the country (originally scheduled for March–May 2020) moved to May-August 2020.

Asia 

  • Elections to the Chattogram City Corporation and the Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies, Bangladesh (originally scheduled for 29 March 2020)
  • Legislative Council election, Hong Kong, China (originally scheduled for 6 September 2020) moved to 5 September 2021
  • Rajya Sabha  (indirect) elections, India (originally scheduled for 26 March 2020) moved to 19 June 2020; Gram panchayat elections  in Karnataka state and Maharashtra states (originally planned between July and December 2020)
  • Regional (local) elections, Indonesia (originally scheduled 23 September 2020) moved to 9 December 2020
  • Second round of parliamentary elections, Iran (originally scheduled for 17 April 2020) moved to 11 September 2020
  • Local council and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) elections, Maldives (originally scheduled for 4 April 2020)
  • Local elections, Kyrgyzstan (originally scheduled for 12 April 2020)
  • Municipal council elections, Oman (originally scheduled for 2020)
  • By-elections, Pakistan (originally scheduled for March 2020); Gilgit-balitstan assembly elections, Pakistan (originally scheduled for 2 July 2020) to 18 August 2020.  
  • Parliamentary elections, Sri Lanka (originally scheduled for 25 April 2020) moved to 5 August 2020
  • Parliamentary elections, Syria (originally scheduled for 13 April 2020) moved to 19 July 2020

Europe 

  • Referendum on changes to the Constitutional Court, Armenia (originally scheduled for 5 April 2020)
  • Local elections in Vorarlberg and Styria, Austria (originally scheduled for 15 March 2020 and 22 March 2020) moved (Styria) to 28 June 2020
  • Local elections, Bosnia and Herzegovina (originally scheduled for 4 October 2020) moved to 15 November 2020
  • Local elections in the Isle of Man, self-governing British Crown Dependency (originally scheduled for 23 April 2020)
  • General election, Guernsey, self-governing British Crown Dependency (originally planned for June 2020) moved to 7 October 2020
  • Turkish Cypriot leadership election in Cyprus (originally planned for 26 April 2020) moved to 11 October 2020
  • Senate by-elections, Teplice Czech Republic (originally scheduled for 27–28 March and 3–4 April 2020) moved to 5-6 June and 13 June 2020
  • Second round of local elections in France (originally scheduled for 22 March 2020) moved to 28 June 2020
  • Election of French overseas advisers and consular delegates (originally scheduled for 16-17 May 2020)
  • Local elections in Hessen and Saxony, Germany (originally scheduled for April–October 2020)
  • National referendum, Italy (originally scheduled for 29 March 2020), in addition to numerous regional and local elections moved to September 2020. 
  • Extraordinary election for Mayor of the city of Podujeva, Kosovo (originally scheduled for 15 March 2020)
  • Local snap elections for city council in Riga, Latvia (originally scheduled for 25 April 2020) moved to 29 August 2020
  • Local elections village Nucareni, district Telenesti and village Tirnova, district Donduseni, Moldova (originally sheduled for 17 May 2020) moved to 6 September 2020
  • Local elections in Tivat, Montenegro (originally scheduled for 5 April 2020)
  • Parliamentary elections in North Macedonia (originally scheduled for 12 April 2020) moved to 15 July 2020
  • Presidential elections, Poland (originally scheduled for 10 May 2020) moved to 28 June 2020 and 12 July 2020
  • Local elections in Romania (originally scheduled for June 2020) moved to 27 September 2020
  • Constitutional nation-wide referendum in Russia (originally scheduled for 22 April 2020) moved to 1 July 2020. The Central Election Commission of Russia took the decision (3 April 2020) to postpone all elections initially scheduled in the period 5 April–23 June, covering about 94 electoral processes at local and regional levels.  
  • General elections in Serbia (originally scheduled for 26 April 2020) moved to 21 June 2020
  • Elections for local self-governing bodies, Slovakia (originally scheduled 4 April 2020) moved to 3 October 2020
  • Regional elections in Euskadi/Basque and Galicia, Spain (originally scheduled for 5 April 2020) moved to 12 July 2020
  • Federal vote, Switzerland (originally scheduled for 17 May 2020) and several local (municipal) elections in the cantons of NeuchâtelTicino, and Luzern (originally scheduled for April–June 2020)
  • Local elections in 118 English councils, the London Assembly and for seven English regional mayors as well as police and crime commissioners in England, UK (originally scheduled for the first week of May 2020) moved to May 2021; elections of police and crime commissioners in Wales, UK (originally scheduled for the first week of May 2020) moved to May 2021; local government by-elections in Kincorth/Nigg/Cove and Craigentinny/Duddingston, Scotland, UK (originally scheduled for 14 and 21 May 2020) moved to 5 November 2020 (Kincort/Nigg/Cove) and moved (Craigentinny/Duddinston) to 12 November 2020
  • Referendum on abortion, Gibraltar, UK Overseas Territory (originally scheduled for 19 March 2020)

Oceania 

  • Local government elections in New South Wales, Australia  (originally scheduled for September 2020) moved to September 2021 and Legislative council elections for the divisions of Rosevears and Huon, Tasmania, Australia (originally scheduled for 2 May 2020) moved to a Saturday in the month of June, July or August 2020.
  • Referendum, New Caledonia, special collectivity of France (originally scheduled for 6 September 2020) moved to 8 October 2020
  • Government General Elections, Autonomous Bougainville Papua New Guinea (originally scheduled for June 2020)
  • Parliamentary elections, Kiribati (originally scheduled for 7 April 2020) moved to 14 April 2020
  • By elections for Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal Constituencies, Solomon Islands (originally scheduled for June 2020)
  • Special election for Yona mayor, Guam, territory of the United States (originally scheduled for 28 March 2020) moved to 18 April 2020

Map generated on 27 July 2020 using International IDEA’s Electoral Risk Management Tool (ERMTool)  

 

Elections held amid COVID-19

Examples of elections and referendums that proceeded in February 2020 include: parliamentary elections, Iran (21 February 2020); by-elections in Taiwan (22 February 2020), presidential election, Togo (22 February 2020); general elections, Slovakia (29 February 2020).

Examples of elections and referendums that proceeded in March 2020 include: local elections in Queensland, Australia (29 March 2020); local by-elections in Bangladesh (21 March 2020); parliamentary election rerun in 11 constituencies in Cameroon (22 March 2020); council election, Canada (26 March 2020); municipal elections in the Dominican Republic (15 March 2020); first round of local elections in France (15 March 2020); local elections in Bavaria, Germany (first round 16 March 2020 and second round 29 March 2020); Legislative elections  and constitutional referendum in Guinea (22 March 2020); general elections in Guyana (2 March 2020); Seanad   general election (partially indirect), Ireland (30-31 March 2020); legislative elections in Israel (2 March 2020); general elections in Mali (29 March 2020); local elections in Hâncești, Moldova (15 March 2020); six by-elections in Poland (22 March 2020); , local elections in Luzern, Switzerland (29 March 2020); kuomintang chairperson elections, Taiwan (7 March 2020); parliamentary elections, Tajikistan (1 March 2020); By-elections in the single-mandate district No. 179 in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine (15 March 2020); primary elections in Arizona, Florida and Illinois, USA (17 March 2020); General elections in Vanuatu (19 March 2020).

Examples of elections and referendums that proceeded in April 2020 include: local by-elections in Japan (April 2020); parliamentary elections in Kiribati*(14 April 2020); parliamentary elections (second round) in Mali (19 April 2020); parliamentary elections in South Korea (15 April 2020); second round municipal elections in Geneva, Switzerland (4 April 2020) by postal voting only; democratic primary elections in Wisconsin, USA (7 April 2020); special congressional election, Maryland, USA (28 April 2020); primary elections* in Ohio, USA (28 April 2020).

Examples of elections and referendums that proceeded in May 2020 include: local elections in Benin (17 May 2020); Presidential elections in Burundi (20 May 2020); Biennial Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Councils by the members of Legislative Assembly (unopposed), India (21 May 2020); local government election, Cross River State, Nigeria (30 May 2020); general elections, Niue (30 May 2020); general elections in Suriname (25 May 2020). 

Examples of elections and referendums that proceeded in June 2020 include: primary elections in 8 states and Washington D.C.*, USA (2 June 2020); Senate by-elections, Teplice, Czech Republic* (5-6 June and 13 June 2020); municipal recall vote, Taiwan (6 June 2020); National Assembly Elections, Saint Kitts and Nevis (6 June 2020), primary elections, Georgia, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia*, USA (9 June 2020);  Rajya Sabha* (indirect), India (19 June 2020), Parliamentary, provincial and local elections*, Serbia (21 June 2020), Presidential election rerun, Malawi (23 June 2020), primary elections in 6 states, USA* (23 June 2020), Parliamentary elections, Mongolia (24 June 2020), Presidential elections, Iceland (27 June 2020), Styrian municipal elections, Austria*  (28 June 2020), second round of local elections, France* (28 June 2020), Presidential elections, Poland* (28 June 2020).

Examples of elections and referendums that proceeded in July 2020 include: Constitutional nation-wide referendum, Russia* (1 July 2020); federal by-election, Eden-Monaro, New South Wales, Australia (4 July 2020); state assembly by-election, state of Pahang, Malaysia (4 July 2020); Parliamentary elections, Croatia (5 July 2020); gubernational elections, Tokyo, Japan  (5 July 2020); Presidential and legislative elections elections, Dominican Republic*  (5 July 2020); Municipal by-elections in Hassi El Ferid, Tunisia* (6 July 2020); Parliamentary elections, Singapore (10 July 2020); Second round Presidential elections, Poland (12 July 2020) Regional elections in Euskadi/Basque and Galicia, Spain* (12 July 2020); Primary elections and runoffs in Texas, Alabama and Maine, USA* (14 July 2020) Parliamentary elections, North Macedonia* (15 July 2020), Parliamentary elections,  Syria* (19 July 2020). 

Special health and safety measures were introduced for many of the above elections, except for Guyana, Kiribati, Niue, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Togo and Vanuatu. There were no reported COVID-19 cases in these countries according to WHO during the time of the election. All elections marked with an asterisk/star (*) were originally postponed (see Postponed elections due to COVID-19).

Map generated on 22July 2020 using International IDEA’s Electoral Risk Management Tool (ERMTool)  

 

Elections on schedule

(July-November 2020)

Eden-Monaro, New South Wales, Australia (federal by-election, 4 July 2020); Victoria, Australia (local government general elections, 24 October 2020); Belarus  (presidential elections, 9 August 2020); Belize (general elections, 1 November 2020); Burkina Faso (presidential and parliamentary elections, 22 November 2020); Saskatchewan, Canada (provincial election, 26 October 2020);  Croatia (parliamentary elections, 5 July 2020);  Côte d'Ivoire (presidential election, 31 October 2020) Egypt (general election, 29 November 2020); North Rheine and Westphalia, Germany (regional elections, 13 September 2020);  Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China (legislative council elections,​ 6 September 2020); Tokyo, Japan (local election in 5 July 2020); Jordan (parliamentary elections, 10 November 2020); Kyrgyzstan (parliamentary election, 4 October 2020); Lithuania (parliamentary elections, 11 October 2020); Russia (regional elections, 13 September 2020);  Singapore (parliamentary elections, 10 July 2020); Seychelles (presidential election, 22-24 October 2020); Tanzania (general election, October 2020); Trinidad and Tobago (general elections, 10 August 2020);  Chini constituency, State of Pahang, Malaysia (state assembly by-election, 4 July 2020); Moldova (presidential election, 1 November 2020); Montenegro (parliamentary election, 30 August 2020); Myanmar (general election, 8 November 2020);  New Zealand (General election and referendum, 19 September 2020); Niger (local election, 1 November 2020); Nigeria (Edo and Ondo state governorship elections 19 September and 10 October 2020); Ukraine (local elections, 25 October 2020). Numerous primary elections in the USA will take place in June-August and the Presidential Election is still on schedule for 3 November 2020. 

 

Featured Cases 

 

 

Correction, 17 June 2020: All reference made to Rwanda in the featured cases section have been changed to Uganda. Correction, 29 June 2020: Voter turnout for the Benin local election was 49.14 percent not 25 percent as previously mentioned. 

 

International IDEA’s analyses and publications on COVID-19 and elections

This segment includes a summary of the latest analysis and publications published by International IDEA on COVID-19 and elections.

Analysis:

Publications:

Additional analyses and publications can be found on the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network

 

Contributors 

Creator and lead editor: Erik Asplund

Design and Communication: Ingrid Bicu and Yasnaya Guibert Masso

Regional Advisors: Olufunto Akinduro (Africa), Adhy Aman (Asia-Pacific), Nana Kalandadze (Europe), Adolfo Ocaña (Latin America and the Caribbean) and Emna Zghonda (Arab World).

Featured Cases: Adhy Aman, Amna Amin,  Erik Asplund, Andre Durante, Anika Heinma, Amanda Lanigan, Eleonora Pettenuzzo, Oliver Joseph, Nana Kalandadze and Peter Wolf.

Translations: Yasnaya Guibert Masso (Spanish) Nana Kalandadze (Russian) Independent Electoral Commission – Jordan (Arabic) Perludem (Bahasa Indonesia)

Maps: Diwas Pant

Copy-editing: Andrew Robertson 

Thanks: Sead Alihodzic, Miguel Ángel Lara Otaola, Iida Hyyryläinen, Tendai Chinamora-Jönsson, Carolina Floru, Lourdes Gonzalez Prieto, Therese Pearce-Laanela, Lynn Simmonds, Abdurashid Solijonov and Antonio Spinelli.

 

    NEWS ARTICLE 

    Risk Mitigation Measures for National Elections during COVID-19 crisis (22 July 2020) 

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    POLICY BRIEF 

    Managing Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic Considerations for Decision-makers (14 July 2020)

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    COMMENTARY

    Electoral officials need more money to run elections during Covid-19 (14 July 2020)

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    COMMENTARY 

    Political, legal and organizational lessons from elections in the time of a pandemic – Republic of Poland 

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    FEATURE STORY 

    Constitutional, legal and political lessons from elections in the time of pandemic - The French Republic (23 June 2020)

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    COMMENTARY

    Communication GUIDELINES for EMBs during COVID-19 crisis

    Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the capacity of state institutions to utilize rapid mechanisms for collecting, processing and analysing information as the foundation of the decision-making process is as vital as the timely implementation of the appropriate communication strategies. 
    This article provides EMBs with guidance on building and carrying out effective communication plans during the unfolding health crisis.

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    TECHNICAL PAPER 

    Managing elections during the COVID-19 pandemic: The Republic of Korea's crucial test

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    TECHNICAL PAPER

    Elections and COVID-19

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