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Election Part

Election Management

An independent and impartial body charged with implementing elections is an important means of ensuring the integrity of the electoral process. An effective electoral management body (EMB), responsible for implementing much of the electoral process, can enable the participation of voters and protect the democratic process. The EMB can be responsible for, among other things, voter education, voter registration, polling operations, counting and tabulation, and settlement of some electoral disputes. The exact composition and responsibilities of an EMB vary greatly from country to country, and these decisions clearly fall within the margin of appreciation of the state. However, the requirement that the body uphold national law and advance electoral rights is universal.

Issues


The Legal Framework and Election Management

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

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

  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]
  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]

The legal framework for elections was consistent with international human rights

  • Laws must be consistent with international human rights. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]

The authority of the electoral management body was recognized by key stakeholders

  • Everyone participating in the election should recognize the authority of the election commission. [?]

The electoral management body acted in conformity with the law

  • The election administration body should act in conformity with the law. [?]

The Election Calendar and Enjoyment of Rights

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

An electoral management body implemented elections with adequate time to implement all parts of the electoral process

  • The scheduling of voting processes must allow adequate time to successfully implement other necessary components of the electoral process. [?]
  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States have a duty to protect the fundamental human rights of all within their jurisdiction. [?]

Electoral Management Body Responsibility for Protection of Rights

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

The electoral management body took steps to implement an electoral process that fulfilled and protected human rights

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • All branches of the government and other public or governmental authorities are responsible for meeting the obligation to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • States have a duty to protect the fundamental human rights of all within their jurisdiction. [?]

Steps were taken to institutionalize efficient and effective public administration

  • States should ensure transparency in the management of public affairs. [?]
  • States should take steps to institutionalize good governance through accountable, efficient, and effective public administration. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to submit to governmental bodies, agencies, and organizations criticisms and proposals for improving their function. [?]

Independence and Impartiality of the Electoral Management Body

  • Key Obligations:
  • Freedom from Discrimination and Equality Before the Law
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights
  • Prevention of Corruption

There was an independent and impartial electoral management body

  • Everyone should have access, free from discrimination, to the public service of the country. [?]
  • The bodies appointing members of electoral commissions must not be free to dismiss them at will. [?]
  • The state should establish an independent and impartial election body. [?]
  • The central election commission should be permanent in nature. [?]
  • The impartiality of election management bodies should be ensured at all levels, from the national commission to the polling station. [?]
  • The composition of the election commission can vary, but the principles of independence and impartiality should be upheld. [?]

The electoral management body acted impartially in the administration of the election

  • Election management bodies should be impartial and should not discriminate in the performance of their public function. [?]

The electoral management body had sufficient resources to implement all phases of the election process

  • Sufficient funding and resources should be provided for the conduct of the electoral process, free from interference from any other electoral stakeholders. [?]

Recruitment of Electoral Management Body Staff

  • Key Obligations:
  • Freedom from Discrimination and Equality Before the Law
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights
  • Rule of Law
  • Prevention of Corruption

The recruitment and appointment of electoral management body staff were transparent, efficient, and equitable and instilled public confidence in the body

  • Everyone has the right of equal access to any place or service intended for public use. [?]
  • Everyone should have access, free from discrimination, to the public service of the country. [?]
  • States must take measures to prevent corruption. [?]
  • States must ensure transparency, efficiency, and equity in the recruitment of officials. [?]
  • Recruitment of election authority staff that is transparent, efficient, and equitable should instill public confidence in the body. [?]
  • The bodies appointing members of electoral commissions must not be free to dismiss them at will. [?]
  • Election management body personnel should receive adequate training to fulfill their function impartially. [?]
  • Sufficient funding and resources should be provided for the conduct of the electoral process, free from interference from any other electoral stakeholders. [?]
  • States should take steps to institutionalize good governance through accountable, efficient, and effective public administration. [?]

The appointment to and membership of the electoral management body were regulated by law

  • The bodies appointing members of electoral commissions must not be free to dismiss them at will. [?]
  • Laws regulating the membership of electoral commissions should be enshrined in the constitution or at another level above ordinary law. [?]

Training of Electoral Management Body Staff

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

Electoral management body personnel received training on the electoral process and international obligations

  • Election management body personnel should receive adequate training to fulfill their function impartially. [?]
  • Training for members of bodies responsible for election management should include training on human rights. [?]

Access to Information and Electoral Management Body Documents

  • Key Obligations:
  • Transparency and Access to Information

The electoral management body provided citizens with access to information throughout the electoral process

  • Everyone has the right to seek and receive information. [?]

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

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

Transparency in Electoral Management Body Decision Making and Procurement

  • Key Obligations:
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights
  • Transparency and Access to Information
  • Prevention of Corruption

The electoral management body ensured transparency in its decision making; for example, through open meetings and the use of public and competitive tenders

  • The election management process should be transparent. [?]
  • The meetings of election bodies should be open. [?]
  • States must take measures to prevent corruption. [?]
  • States should promote transparency in public decision making as a means of combating corruption. [?]
  • It is desirable that electoral commissions make decisions by a qualified majority or by consensus. [?]

Anticorruption Policies Within the Electoral Management Body

  • Key Obligations:
  • Prevention of Corruption

The electoral management body, as an organ of the state, implemented effective policies to discourage acts of corruption

  • States must take measures to prevent corruption. [?]
  • Electoral legislation should include procedures and a range of penalties aimed at preventing corruption in various sectors. [?]
  • 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. [?]
  • Corruption includes fraudulent use or concealment of property derived from corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes participation or conspiracy to commit corrupt activities. [?]
  • Corruption includes any act or omission of official functions by a public official to gain illicit benefits. [?]
  • 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. [?]
  • Corruption includes improper influence. [?]
  • States should implement or maintain effective policies that encourage public participation in order to discourage corruption. [?]
  • States should establish effective laws and mechanisms to facilitate the recovery of illicitly acquired assets and the proceeds of corruption. [?]

Freedom From Discrimination and the Electoral Management Body

  • Key Obligations:
  • Freedom from Discrimination and Equality Before the Law
  • Equality Between Men and Women

The electoral management body treated all citizens equally

  • Discrimination must not be practiced based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity and expression, migrant, refugee, repatriate, stateless or internally displaced status, genetic trait, mental or physical health condition, including infectious contagious condition and debilitating psychological condition, or other status at any time. [?]
  • Discrimination means any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, or national or social origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. [?]
  • Distinctions made on the basis of disabilities are to be considered discrimination. [?]
  • Distinctions made on the basis of sexual orientation are to be considered discrimination. [?]
  • The state must perform both its "negative duty" to refrain from discrimination and its "positive duty" to prevent discrimination. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • Election management bodies should be impartial and should not discriminate in the performance of their public function. [?]
  • Discrimination must not be practiced based on sex. [?]

Special Measures

  • Key Obligations:
  • Freedom from Discrimination and Equality Before the Law
  • Equality Between Men and Women

Special measures were taken to ensure de facto equality for people with disabilities

  • Distinctions made on the basis of disabilities are to be considered discrimination. [?]
  • Specific measures aimed at ensuring de facto equality for persons with disabilities should not be considered discriminatory. [?]
  • Election management bodies should ensure that women and marginalized groups participate in the electoral process. [?]
  • Women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination. [?]

Special measures were taken, as necessary, to promote equality for minorities

  • Special measures for advancing ethnic minorities or groups that have suffered past discrimination should be taken when circumstances warrant, but should not be maintained after the objectives for which they were taken are met, and should not result in the maintenance of unequal rights for different groups. [?]
  • Special measures for advancing ethnic minorities or groups that have suffered past discrimination may include quotas to ensure minority participation or representation. [?]
  • Some measures taken to ensure equitable representation of minority groups should not be considered discriminatory. [?]

The state took steps to ensure de facto equality between men and women

  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • Women should enjoy equality with men before the law. [?]
  • States should take special, temporary measures to achieve de facto equality for women. [?]
  • Temporary measures to achieve de facto equality for women may include the use of quotas to ensure their participation or representation. [?]
  • Special measures for advancing women where they have suffered past discrimination may include quotas to ensure participation or representation. [?]
  • Temporary special measures to achieve de facto equality for women can include financially assisting and training women candidates, amending electoral procedures, developing campaigns directed at equal participation, and targeting women for appointment to public positions, or the use of quotas. [?]

The electoral management body included women

  • Election management bodies should ensure that women and marginalized groups participate in the electoral process. [?]
  • The election management body should include women. [?]

Safety, Security, and the Electoral Management Body

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right to Security of the Person

The right to security of the person for all citizens (including EMB personnel) was protected throughout the election period

  • Everyone has the right to security of the person without arbitrary arrest or detention. [?]

Freedom of Movement for Electoral Management Body Personnel

  • Key Obligations:
  • Freedom of Movement

Electoral management body staff and officials were able to move freely throughout the country to administer the election and at the same time did not prevent or hinder the free movement of citizens during the election process

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of movement within the borders of each state. [?]

Right to an Effective Remedy for Electoral Management Body Actions

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right to an Effective Remedy

An effective (timely and enforceable) remedy was available for all violations of their fundamental rights

  • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by a competent national tribunal for acts that violate his or her rights or freedoms. [?]
  • Individuals must have the right to a remedy for violation of their participatory rights relating to the election process. [?]
  • Remedy should be available for complaints arising throughout the electoral process. [?]
  • States must enforce a remedy when granted. [?]
  • Effective redress requires disputes to be dealt with in a timely manner. [?]

Hearings by Impartial and Independent Tribunals

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right to a Fair and Public Hearing

Citizens were granted a fair and public hearing by a competent, impartial, and independent tribunal in the determination of their rights

  • Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, impartial, and independent tribunal in determination of his/her rights. [?]
  • A violation of the right to a fair and public hearing requires an effective remedy. [?]
  • The notion of fair trial includes the guarantee of a fair and public hearing. [?]
  • A fair trial entails the absence of influence. [?]
  • A fair trial is expeditious. [?]
  • The right to a public hearing must be protected except for specific and objective reasons as determined by law. [?]
  • In the determination of suits at law the independence and impartiality of tribunals is an absolute right. [?]
  • Any body that meets the criteria of impartiality and independence can be considered a tribunal. [?]
  • A situation in which the executive and the judiciary are not clearly distinguishable is incompatible with the notion of an independent and impartial tribunal. [?]
  • Impartiality requires that judges act without bias, and that the tribunal appears unbiased to the reasonable observer. [?]

The tribunal was protected from political influence

  • Independence of the judiciary requires proper procedures detailing appointment, term limits, security, and remuneration. [?]

The proceedings of any complaints were transparent, and all parties to the complaint were given an equal opportunity to present evidence

  • Proceedings on complaints and appeals must be transparent. [?]
  • The opportunity should exist to present evidence in support of a complaint. [?]

Forum shopping was discouraged

  • Appeal channels, when available, should be narrowly constructed to avoid "forum shopping." [?]