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Election Part

Vote Counting and Tabulation

The accurate and honest counting of votes plays an indispensable role in protecting individuals’ rights to vote and be elected. Regardless of the credibility of other parts of the electoral process, a flawed vote count can undermine the integrity of the electoral process and decrease public confidence and public acceptance of the results. While vote counting and tabulation processes vary in detail from country to country, accuracy, honesty, and transparency are universal principles that guide the process.

Issues


Legal Framework and Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Key Obligations:
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights
  • Rule of Law

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]
  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]

The laws regulating elections were equally enforced and were not arbitrarily applied

  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]
  • Closing and counting procedures should be established by law. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]

The Election Calendar and Enjoyment of Rights

  • Key Obligations:
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights
  • Periodic Elections

The electoral calendar allowed sufficient time for all aspects of the electoral process to take place, including vote counting

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • Elections are to be held at periodic intervals. [?]
  • The scheduling of voting processes must allow adequate time to successfully implement other necessary components of the electoral process. [?]

Counting Cast Ballots

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right and Opportunity to Be Elected
  • Universal Suffrage

The state took proactive measures to promote voting by the broadest pool of eligible voters and ensure votes cast were counted

  • Elections must be held by universal suffrage. [?]
  • Every citizen has the right to be elected. [?]

The vote counting and tabulation process did not discriminate against anyone on the basis of prohibited grounds

  • Elections must be held by universal suffrage. [?]
  • Every citizen has the right to be elected. [?]

Vote counting and tabulation processes protected the right to be elected

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]
  • Elections must be held by universal suffrage. [?]
  • Political parties may be required to register with election authorities when contesting the election. The grounds for rejecting a registration application should be based on objective criteria. [?]
  • States should consider imposing reasonable limits on campaign expenditure. [?]
  • Methods to facilitate voting may include electronic voting. [?]
  • Where legislation allows for public funding, private funding, or a mix of the two, legislation should ensure that all political parties and candidates are treated equitably with respect to campaign finance and expenditures. [?]
  • Political party and candidate representatives should be allowed in the polling station to observe polling. [?]
  • Residency requirements should not be excessive, or may be considered discriminatory. [?]
  • Every citizen has the right to be elected. [?]
  • Candidates must be permitted to run either as party candidates or individually. [?]
  • Limits on those wishing to run for office must be based on objective and reasonable criteria. [?]
  • Procedures should not create unnecessary technical barriers to participation by otherwise qualified eligible voters. [?]
  • Loss of the right to be elected may only be imposed following adjudication by a court. [?]
  • Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including criminal conviction. [?]
  • Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including support from a minimum number of citizens. [?]
  • Universal suffrage requires that the broadest reasonable pool of voters is guaranteed participatory rights. [?]
  • Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including residency. [?]
  • Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including citizenship. [?]
  • Methods to facilitate voting may include postal voting. [?]
  • Methods to facilitate voting may include making special provision for members of the military to vote. [?]
  • Methods to facilitate voting may include mobile voting. [?]
  • If public funds are distributed to political parties and candidates, those funds should be available on an equitable basis. [?]

Determining Voter Intent

  • Key Obligations:
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights

The intent of the voter was taken into consideration when determining ballot validity

  • The intent of the voter should be taken into consideration when determining the validity of ballots. [?]

The state took the steps necessary to give effect to rights during the vote counting process

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]

Safeguards to Prevent Falsification of Ballots

  • Key Obligations:
  • Equal Suffrage

Equal suffrage was respected throughout the electoral process, including vote counting, consistent with the concept of one person, one vote

  • Elections must be held by equal suffrage. [?]

Safeguards were put in place to ensure that there existed no opportunity to falsify or substitute ballots, including during the vote counting and tabulation process

  • No opportunity should exist to falsify or to substitute ballot papers. [?]
  • Elections must be held by equal suffrage. [?]
  • The electoral system should endeavor to ensure equal suffrage by according each voter and vote equal weight. [?]
  • Safeguards should be in place to ensure the accuracy of the vote, no matter the form of balloting or counting used (manual, mechanical, or electronic). [?]

Prevention of Corruption in Vote Counting

  • Key Obligations:
  • Prevention of Corruption

The electoral management body maintained and implemented policies to prevent, address, and penalize acts of corruption, including during the voting process

  • Corruption includes the solicitation or acceptance of something of value in exchange for an advantage. [?]
  • Corruption includes the offering or granting of something of value in exchange for an act or omission in the performance of a public function. [?]
  • States must take measures to prevent corruption. [?]
  • States should implement or maintain effective policies that encourage public participation in order to discourage corruption. [?]
  • Corruption includes participation or conspiracy to commit corrupt activities. [?]
  • Electoral legislation should include procedures and a range of penalties aimed at preventing corruption in various sectors. [?]
  • Corruption includes any act or omission of official functions by a public official to gain illicit benefits. [?]
  • Corruption includes improper influence. [?]
  • Corruption includes fraudulent use or concealment of property derived from corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes the use of state property for purposes other than those for which they were intended for the benefit of the public official or a third party. [?]

Transparency in the Reporting, Transmission, and Publishing of Election Results

  • Key Obligations:
  • Prevention of Corruption
  • Transparency and Access to Information

Access to information was guaranteed throughout the electoral process, including during the counting and tabulation process

  • Access to information may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of preventing crime or disorder. [?]
  • Access to information may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of protecting personal data. [?]
  • Access to information may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence. [?]
  • Access to information may be restricted only in limited cases, including when an expression seeks to destroy other established rights. [?]
  • Access to information may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of public safety. [?]
  • Access to information may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to seek and receive information. [?]
  • Access to information may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of territorial integrity. [?]
  • Access to information may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of protecting the reputation and rights of others. [?]
  • Access to information may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of national security. [?]

Results were published in a timely manner, were publicly announced, and were posted at the counting station

  • Results should be publicly announced, including through posting at the counting station. [?]
  • Detailed results should be available down to the lowest levels of aggregation (polling station). [?]
  • The results of the count should be published in a timely manner. [?]

Tallies were transmitted to higher levels of tabulation in a transparent and open manner

  • Ballot tallies must be transmitted to higher levels in an open manner. [?]

The counting process was verifiable and the ballots preserved for later review

  • Vote counting procedures should be verifiable and votes should be preserved for review. [?]

The state proactively put in the public domain government information of public interest

  • States should proactively put in the public domain government information of public interest. [?]

Votes were counted and reported honestly

  • Votes should be counted and reported honestly. [?]

Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Key Obligations:
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights
  • Freedom from Discrimination and Equality Before the Law
  • Prevention of Corruption
  • Right and Opportunity to Be Elected
  • Right and Opportunity to Participate in Public Affairs
  • Freedom of Association

Candidates and their representatives, as well as observers, were able to observe polling and counting

  • The participation of domestic observers may enhance all aspects of the electoral process. [?]
  • States should recognize accredited NGOs and facilitate their ability to conduct their activities. [?]
  • Candidates or their agents and accredited observers should be allowed to observe the counting and tabulation of the votes. [?]

If electronic voting systems were used, there was an open and comprehensive audit

  • The audit system for electronic technologies should be open and comprehensive. [?]

Observers were able to access places used for vote counting and tabulation

  • Everyone has the right of equal access to any place or service intended for public use. [?]

Party agents and accredited observers were given copies of the protocols and tabulation sheets from the results center

  • Candidates or their agents and accredited observers should be allowed to observe the counting and tabulation of the votes. [?]
  • Observers should be given copies of all protocols and tabulation sheets. [?]
  • Results centers should be established and accessible. [?]

The vote-counting process was transparent and observable

  • Particular individual electoral rights should be extended to associations and political parties. [?]
  • Political parties may be required to register with election authorities when contesting the election. The grounds for rejecting a registration application should be based on objective criteria. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to associate with non-governmental organizations. [?]
  • Lawful restrictions of this freedom may also be placed on members of the armed forces and the police. [?]
  • Residency requirements should not be excessive, or may be considered discriminatory. [?]
  • Every citizen has the right to be elected. [?]
  • Corruption includes fraudulent use or concealment of property derived from corrupt activities. [?]
  • Limits on those wishing to run for office must be based on objective and reasonable criteria. [?]
  • Candidates or their agents and accredited observers should be allowed to observe the counting and tabulation of the votes. [?]
  • Ballot tallies must be transmitted to higher levels in an open manner. [?]
  • Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including support from a minimum number of citizens. [?]
  • Vote counting should be a transparent and observable process. [?]
  • Women have the right to participate in the public affairs of their country. [?]
  • If public funds are distributed to political parties and candidates, those funds should be available on an equitable basis. [?]
  • Any act or omission by a government organ that affects an NGO should be subject to administrative review and open to challenge. [?]
  • The audit system for electronic technologies should be open and comprehensive. [?]
  • Electoral legislation should include procedures and a range of penalties aimed at preventing corruption in various sectors. [?]
  • Corruption includes any act or omission of official functions by a public official to gain illicit benefits. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to participate in the public affairs of his/her country. [?]
  • Where legislation allows for public funding, private funding, or a mix of the two, legislation should ensure that all political parties and candidates are treated equitably with respect to campaign finance and expenditures. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of national security. [?]
  • Material public resources should not be abused in support of a particular political party or candidate. [?]
  • Corruption includes the use of state property for purposes other than those for which they were intended for the benefit of the public official or a third party. [?]
  • States should promote transparency in public decision making as a means of combating corruption. [?]
  • Loss of the right to be elected may only be imposed following adjudication by a court. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to association. [?]
  • States should recognize accredited NGOs and facilitate their ability to conduct their activities. [?]
  • Votes should be counted and reported honestly. [?]
  • NGOs should be consulted at all stages of the legislative and/or administrative process that will determine their status. [?]
  • Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including citizenship. [?]
  • Association with a political party must be voluntary. [?]
  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]
  • Corruption includes the solicitation or acceptance of something of value in exchange for an advantage. [?]
  • Results centers should be established and accessible. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of protecting the rights and freedoms of others. [?]
  • The administrative process for NGO registration should be applied with minimum margin of discretion. [?]
  • States should consider imposing reasonable limits on campaign expenditure. [?]
  • A balanced and transparent system of political party financing should be fostered. [?]
  • Specific documentation may be required to establish an NGO. [?]
  • Political party and candidate representatives should be allowed in the polling station to observe polling. [?]
  • Candidates must be permitted to run either as party candidates or individually. [?]
  • It is desirable that electoral commissions make decisions by a qualified majority or by consensus. [?]
  • Candidates, party agents, and accredited observers should have access to polling stations. [?]
  • Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including criminal conviction. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interests of public health or morals. [?]
  • National law should not unjustifiably restrict the ability of any person to join an NGO. [?]
  • Corruption includes improper influence. [?]
  • Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including residency. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted only in limited cases, including in the interest of public safety/order. [?]
  • Corruption includes the offering or granting of something of value in exchange for an act or omission in the performance of a public function. [?]
  • States should implement or maintain effective policies that encourage public participation in order to discourage corruption. [?]
  • The participation of domestic observers may enhance all aspects of the electoral process. [?]
  • Candidates and party agents should have access to polling stations. [?]
  • Corruption includes participation or conspiracy to commit corrupt activities. [?]
  • Observers should be given copies of all protocols and tabulation sheets. [?]

Protection of Ballot Secrecy

  • Key Obligations:
  • Secret Ballot

Regardless of the balloting method used, secrecy of the ballot was maintained throughout the electoral process, including during voting and tabulation. It was not possible to link cast ballots to specific voters during counting and tabulation

  • The election should be held by secret ballot. [?]
  • Secrecy of the ballot should be maintained throughout the entire voting process. [?]

The legal framework offered clear guidance on secrecy of the ballot throughout the election

  • Electoral legislation and its regulations should offer clear guidance with respect to the secrecy of the ballot. [?]
  • The election should be held by secret ballot. [?]
  • Secrecy of the ballot should be maintained throughout the entire voting process. [?]

Safety, Security, and Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right to Security of the Person

Security personnel played a positive role during the electoral process, providing protection for voters, candidates, and electoral management body personnel without interfering in the process

  • Law enforcement should behave in a neutral manner. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to security of the person without arbitrary arrest or detention. [?]
  • Counting should take place in an atmosphere free from intimidation. [?]

Vote counting took place in an environment free of intimidation

  • Law enforcement should behave in a neutral manner. [?]
  • Counting should take place in an atmosphere free from intimidation. [?]
  • States should ensure that violence does not undermine women's political participation. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to security of the person without arbitrary arrest or detention. [?]

Freedom of Movement and Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Key Obligations:
  • Freedom of Movement

Freedom of movement was respected throughout the electoral process, including the immediate election period

  • Freedom of movement may only be restricted in limited cases, including in the interest of preventing crime. [?]
  • Freedom of movement may only be restricted in limited cases, including in the interest of protecting the rights and freedoms of others. [?]
  • Freedom of movement may only be restricted in limited cases, including in the interest of public health or morals. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to leave and return to his/her own country. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to freedom of movement within the borders of each state. [?]
  • Freedom of movement may only be restricted when provided by law, necessary in a democratic society, and consistent with other rights. [?]
  • Freedom of movement may only be restricted in limited cases, including in the interest of public order. [?]
  • Freedom of movement may only be restricted in limited cases, including in the interest of national security. [?]
  • Movement may be restricted, but such restrictions must be proportionate and be appropriate to achieve their protective function. [?]

Training of Polling and Counting Workers

  • Key Obligations:
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights

The state educated officials and citizens on the vote counting and tabulation process

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • Necessary steps to give effect to human rights include education of the population and state officials in human rights. [?]

Right to an Effective Remedy and Vote Counting and Tabulation

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right to an Effective Remedy

The legal framework provided clear guidance on the grounds for complaints and appeals as well as the processes for demanding a recount

  • The right to challenge election results should be provided for by law. [?]
  • The rules should provide a mechanism for challenging and for invalidating all or part of the election results. [?]
  • Fair rules should exist for the right to demand a recount. [?]
  • The rules should provide clear grounds upon which complaints and appeals are allowable. [?]

The right to challenge the election results was guaranteed by law

  • The right to challenge election results should be provided for by law. [?]
  • Arrangements should be made to hear petitions related to the announcement of results. [?]
  • Vote counting procedures should be verifiable and votes should be preserved for review. [?]
  • Remedy should be available for complaints arising throughout the electoral process. [?]
  • The rules should provide a mechanism for challenging and for invalidating all or part of the election results. [?]

The right to remedy was protected throughout the process

  • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by a competent national tribunal for acts that violate his or her rights or freedoms. [?]
  • States must enforce a remedy when granted. [?]
  • Effective redress requires disputes to be dealt with in a timely manner. [?]

There was impartial scrutiny of the counting and tabulation process, and it was subject to judicial review

  • Vote counting procedures should be verifiable and votes should be preserved for review. [?]
  • There should be impartial scrutiny of the counting process and access to judicial review. [?]