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The Informed and Ethical Voter - Whose Responsibility?

Image credit: VoICE International

Today, electoral democracy is the global norm rather than the exception. It thus becomes incumbent that voters are aware of key facts: to make a well-informed decision on voting, as well as to follow steps that guarantee a valid vote. Thanks to wider access to media, informed voting has never been more possible, yet today we see it is in peril.

Most voters can freely access information online but are subjected to intense and organized campaigns aiming to manipulate public opinion. At its core, democracy is anchored in the capacity of citizens to obtain equal access to information about political issues. And so, any attempts to steer the public from accurate information to guide voting choices represents an attack on the very foundation of democracy. 

This background leads to a critical question: who has the responsibility to ensure that this information is available, accessed and correct? 

A view at one end of the spectrum is . . . 


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The article above was written by Therese Pearce Laanela, head of Electoral Processes, International IDEA. It was published in the VoICE.NET's magazine (P39) in its latest issue for Jan-Jun 2019. In addition to other interesting articles on this topic, the magazine has also highlighted one of International IDEA's Discussion Papers: "The Party Abroad and its Role for National Party Politics" (P107). It's worth mentioning that Antonio Spinelli, head of Nepal's Programme, International IDEA  is one of its Editorial Board. 

"Voter Information, Communication, Education Network (VoICE.NET)is a Global Knowledge Network for sharing knowledge, resources and expertise on Voter Education. 

VoICE.NET was launched on 20th October 2016 at the International Conference on Voter Education for Inclusive, Informed and Ethical Participation held at New Delhi. The Global Knowledge Network is a part of the New Delhi Declaration adopted at the Conference by the 25 Election Management Bodies and representatives from UNDP, International IDEA, IFES and Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre. VoICE.NET contents are provided by the member EMBs/Organisations and the portal is maintained by Election Commission of India."

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About the authors

Therese Pearce Laanela, Head of Electoral Processes
Therese Pearce Laanela
Head of Electoral Processes
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