Obligation

Right and Opportunity to Vote

International and regional treaties protect the right to vote 1.

Unlike most other rights in the ICCPR and other documents, the right to vote is often restricted to citizens, though resident noncitizens may also be entitled to vote. This right may be limited based only on objective and reasonable criteria. Unreasonable restrictions include, but are not limited to, those based on:

  • Excessive residency requirements;[2]
  • Naturalized citizenship;[3]
  • Criminal conviction (disproportionate to the severity of the crime or blanket disenfranchisement provisions);[4]
  • Status as a remanded prisoner yet to be convicted of an offense;[5]
  • Surpassing the legal age of majority;[6]
  • Race;[7]
  • Sex;[8]
  • Religion;][9]
  • Physical disability;[10]
  • Mental, intellectual, or psychosocial disability (that is disproportionate or has no reasonable or objective relationship to the person’s ability to vote);[11]
  • Political or other opinion;[12]
  • National or social origin;[13]
  • Sexual orientation or gender identity;[14]
  • Language;[15]
  • Birth or other status;[16]
  • Literacy;[17]
  • Education;[18]
  • Property ownership;[19]
  • Party membership;[20]
  • Status as an internally displaced person;[21]
  • Economic circumstances.[22]

Interpretive sources indicate that even reasonable restrictions may have a disproportionate or indirect impact on the enjoyment of rights by women.[23] In addition, they suggest that states should ensure that reasonable restrictions do not disproportionately impact minority groups.[24] The right to vote cannot be restricted on the basis of individualized decisions taken by a judge. [25]

Issues


Accuracy of the List

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

The state took steps to facilitate registration

  • A voter list may be reliably established through a variety of acceptable methods, including periodic list, continuous list, or civil registry. [?]

Voter Education on Voter Registration

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

Voter education campaigns included information regarding voter registration processes

  • Voter education campaigns are necessary to ensure an informed community is able to effectively exercise the right to vote. [?]

Voter Eligibility and Barriers to Registration

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

Limitations on universal suffrage imposed during the voter registration process were reasonable and objective

  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on a requirement for identification. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on military service. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on a minimum age. [?]
  • The right to vote is not absolute and can be restricted based on objective and reasonable criteria. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on residency. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on citizenship. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on criminal conviction. [?]

Universal Suffrage, the Right to Vote, and Voter Education

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Education

All eligible voters were informed of their electoral rights before, during, and after election day

  • Limits placed on the right to vote must be based on objective and reasonable criteria. [?]
  • Criteria restricting the right to vote must be clearly stated in law. [?]
  • Voter education campaigns are necessary to ensure an informed community is able to effectively exercise the right to vote. [?]

Voter education campaigns were responsive to the needs of the electorate

  • Voter education campaigns should be designed with the aim of reaching all eligible voters. [?]

The obligations of universal suffrage and the right to vote were advanced through voter education

  • Limits placed on the right to vote must be based on objective and reasonable criteria. [?]
  • Every citizen has the right to vote. [?]

The Right to Vote, and Voting Operations

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

Any restrictions on the right to vote were established in advance of election day, and any loss of that right was only imposed after adjudication by a court

  • Any restrictions on the right to vote are to be established in advance of election day. [?]
  • Loss of the right to vote may only be imposed following adjudication by a court. [?]

Poll workers were adequately trained in the determination of eligible voters

  • Polling personnel should receive clear guidance with respect to identifying and admitting eligible voters. [?]

The right to vote was guaranteed by law and was subject only to reasonable and objective restrictions

  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on a requirement for identification. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on a minimum age. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on mental incapacity determined by a court. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on residency. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on citizenship. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on criminal conviction. [?]
  • Residency requirements should not be excessive, or may be considered discriminatory. [?]
  • Limits placed on the right to vote must be based on objective and reasonable criteria. [?]
  • Criteria restricting the right to vote must be clearly stated in law. [?]
  • The right to vote in local elections may be extended to foreign residents. [?]
  • Limitations on the voting rights of convicted criminals should be proportionate to the offense and the sentence. [?]
  • The age of majority is eighteen or younger. [?]
  • The right to vote is not absolute and can be restricted based on objective and reasonable criteria. [?]
  • Every citizen has the right to vote. [?]

The Legal Framework and Voter Registration

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Registration

Voter registration procedures were clearly stipulated by law

  • Any restrictions on the right to register to vote are to be established in advance of the registration period. [?]

The Content of Voter Education Campaigns

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voter Education

Voter education efforts included information about all electoral rights, including equal suffrage, the right to vote and be elected, the right to an effective remedy, and the secret ballot

  • Voter education campaigns should be designed to provide sufficient information with respect to registration and the voting process. [?]

Voter education campaigns included information about the voting and registration process

  • Voters should be provided with information on the procedure by which they register to vote. [?]
  • Voter education campaigns should be designed to provide sufficient information with respect to registration and the voting process. [?]

Voter education campaigns included information on restrictions that may be applied to participatory rights

  • Any restrictions on the right to vote are to be established in advance of election day. [?]
  • Loss of the right to vote may only be imposed following adjudication by a court. [?]

Facilitation of Voting

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

Voting operations facilitated broad participation

  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on a requirement for identification. [?]
  • Limitations on the voting rights of convicted criminals should be proportionate to the offense and the sentence. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on a minimum age. [?]
  • Provisions on the rights of active duty military personnel to vote should be carefully written to avoid abuse and potential disenfranchisement of voters. [?]
  • Every citizen has the right to vote. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on mental incapacity determined by a court. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on residency. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on citizenship. [?]
  • Limits on the right to vote may be based on criminal conviction. [?]
  • E-voting systems should facilitate voting by persons with disabilities. [?]
  • Limits placed on the right to vote must be based on objective and reasonable criteria. [?]

Polls opened on time and did not close early. People in line to vote at poll closing were able to cast their ballot

  • Late opening or early closing of polls undermines the right to vote. [?]
  • All persons waiting in line at the close of polls should be permitted to vote. [?]

Sufficient resources, human and material, were available at each polling station

  • Sufficient voting materials should be available at each polling site. [?]

Ballot Design and Voter Choice

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

Ballots were understandable and user-friendly

  • Ballots, including electronic ballots, should be understandable. [?]
  • Ballots should be available in the principal languages in multilingual societies. [?]
  • Voters should be able to cast a blank ballot, including when voting on electronic technologies. [?]
  • Ballots should be identical in all languages. [?]
  • Ballots should account for levels of literacy. [?]

Voters were able to verify their choice on their ballot and could alter their choice before casting their ballot

  • Voting systems should offer an authentic ballot to voters and ensure that their votes are accurately represented. [?]
  • Voters should be able to alter their choice before casting their ballot. [?]

Assisted Voting

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

Voters were made aware of their right to impartial assistance if needed

  • Electors who are unable to vote independently should be made aware of the guarantee of impartial assistance. [?]

Impartial assistance for voters unable to vote independently was provided

  • Assistance provided to those unable to vote independently must be impartial. [?]
  • Electors who are unable to vote independently should be made aware of the guarantee of impartial assistance. [?]
  • Voting procedures, facilities, and materials should be appropriate, accessible, and easy to use for persons with disabilities. [?]

Voting Technologies

  • Relevant Election Parts:
  • Voting Operations

Electronic voting technologies operated correctly, and their functioning was ensured by the state through an independent body

  • Voting technologies should work correctly. [?]
  • Voters should be able to tell when their vote has been cast. [?]

Voting technologies were usable by voters and secure from interference

  • The voting system, including electronic systems, should be sufficiently secure against fraud. [?]

Sources

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