Leader of the OSCE election mission Elona Gjebrea Hoxha observing in a polling station in Tbilisi, Georgia in October 2020. (OSCE Parliamentary Assembly/CC BY-SA 2.0)
The Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University has recently published a Briefing by Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, the Secretary-General of the International IDEA and Sarah Cliffe, CIC, and Nendirmwa Noel.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact on the conduct of elections, with countries and territories across every region affected. Governments and electoral authorities have responded with innovative practices—but the challenges posed by the pandemic have also revealed gaps and weaknesses that must be addressed. Lessons from the COVID-19 era can help with preparedness for future challenges such as holding elections in the wake of natural disasters or in highly polarized contexts.
The Briefing takes a look at how countries have handled elections during the pandemic so far, exploring options for ensuring good election governance and preventing electoral violence. It also examines decisions about postponing elections or holding them as scheduled, as well as changes to the campaigning and voting processes due to public health measures. It also addresses impact on turnout, lessons on the conduct of credible elections during COVID-19, lessons for preventing election-related violence, and approaches to combat electoral misinformation and disinformation.
The briefing was originally published on 2 November 2020 on CIC website.