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Election Part

Voter Education

Effective voter education efforts are crucial to ensuring that all potential voters have the necessary information not only to exercise their right to vote but also to understand and have confidence in the entire electoral process. International law is increasingly addressing the need for inclusive voter education campaigns that will ensure an informed electorate. The content of voter education campaigns should not be limited to the logistics of registering and voting but should also increase citizen awareness of their democratic rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the associated international obligations. Voter education can be provided by a number of potential sources, including state actors such as the electoral management body, political parties, and civil society. Regardless of the organization providing voter education, efforts should ensure that all potential voters—including women, minorities, and people with disabilities—have access to this information.

Issues


The Legal Framework and Voter Education

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

The principles of rule of law were promoted

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]
  • 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

  • Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable. [?]
  • States should take measures to promote the principles of the rule of law. [?]
  • Laws and procedures must not be arbitrarily applied. [?]
  • 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 scheduling of elections granted sufficient time for a complete and comprehensive voter education program

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • Voter education materials should distributed in a timely manner. [?]
  • The scheduling of voting processes must allow adequate time to successfully implement other necessary components of the electoral process. [?]
  • States should take steps to provide civic (including voter) education. [?]
  • The electoral calendar should provide adequate time for campaigning and public information efforts. [?]

Universal Suffrage, the Right to Vote, and Voter Education

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right and Opportunity to Vote
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights
  • Universal Suffrage

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

  • The fulfillment of universal and equal suffrage is partially dependent on the success of an adequate voter education process. [?]
  • 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. [?]
  • An adequate voter education process is necessary to ensure the electorate is able to utilize their rights. [?]

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

Voter education campaigns were responsive to the needs of the electorate

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

The Content of Voter Education Campaigns

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right and Opportunity to Vote
  • State Must Take Necessary Steps to Give Effect to Rights
  • Secret Ballot

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. [?]

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

  • States must take the steps necessary to give effect to human rights. [?]
  • Voter education campaigns should be designed to provide sufficient information with respect to registration and the voting process. [?]
  • Fulfillment of secrecy of the ballot is partially dependent on the extent to which voters understand this right. [?]
  • Voter education campaigns of the state should be conducted in a manner that is impartial and consistent. [?]
  • States should take steps to provide civic (including voter) education. [?]

Provision of Voter Education by the Electoral Management Body

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

The state took the steps necessary to give effect to rights during voter education

  • 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. [?]
  • States should take steps to provide civic (including voter) education. [?]

Voter education was provided by the EMB and was impartial and responsive to the needs of the electorate

  • Election management bodies generally bear responsibility for voter education. [?]
  • Voter education materials should distributed in a timely manner. [?]
  • Voter education campaigns should be responsive to the needs to the electorate. [?]
  • Voter education campaigns of the state should be conducted in a manner that is impartial and consistent. [?]
  • States should take steps to provide civic (including voter) education. [?]

Provision of Voter Education by Civil Society and Political Parties

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right and Opportunity to Participate in Public Affairs
  • Freedom of Association

Civil society organizations participated in voter education

  • Political parties, civic organizations, and international organizations may contribute to voter education efforts. [?]
  • States should recognize accredited NGOs and facilitate their ability to conduct their activities. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to participate in the public affairs of his/her country. [?]
  • Freedom of association may be restricted under certain circumstances as are prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to association. [?]
  • Everyone has the right to associate with non-governmental organizations. [?]

Political parties and/or candidates were permitted to provide voter education

  • Political parties, civic organizations, and international organizations may contribute to voter education efforts. [?]

Freedom From Discrimination in Voter Education

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

All citizens received voter education regardless of their race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation or gender identity, property, birth, or other status

  • Measures should be taken to ensure that persons with disabilities have adequate access to civil and voter education. [?]
  • Measures should be taken to ensure that women understand their right to vote. [?]
  • All are equal before the law, and laws should be equally enforced. [?]
  • The state must perform both its "negative duty" to refrain from discrimination and its "positive duty" to prevent discrimination. [?]
  • The state must perform both its "negative duty" to refrain from discrimination against women and its "positive duty" to prevent discrimination against women. [?]
  • 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. [?]
  • Voter education should facilitate the participation of illiterate voters. To this end, specific methods, such as the use of photographs and symbols, should be adopted. [?]
  • Voter education should be accessible to all voters, including those with special needs. [?]

Locations used for voter education were accessible in a nondiscriminatory manner

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

Voter education materials facilitated voting by illiterate voters

  • Voter education should facilitate the participation of illiterate voters. To this end, specific methods, such as the use of photographs and symbols, should be adopted. [?]
  • Voter education should be accessible to all voters, including those with special needs. [?]

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

  • Women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination. [?]
  • Measures should be taken to ensure that persons with disabilities have adequate access to civil and voter education. [?]
  • Specific measures aimed at ensuring de facto equality for persons with disabilities should not be considered discriminatory. [?]
  • Distinctions made on the basis of disabilities are to be considered discrimination. [?]
  • Access to the media should be guaranteed to all political parties and candidates and be fairly distributed. [?]

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

  • The state must perform both its "negative duty" to refrain from discrimination and its "positive duty" to prevent discrimination. [?]
  • 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. [?]
  • Some measures taken to ensure equitable representation of minority groups should not be considered discriminatory. [?]
  • Voter education should be accessible to all voters, including those with special needs. [?]

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

  • States should take special, temporary measures to achieve de facto equality for women. [?]
  • Women should enjoy equality with men before the law. [?]
  • Where linguistic minorities exist, those that belong to such minorities should not be denied the right to use their own language. [?]
  • Discrimination must not be practiced based on sex. [?]
  • Measures should be taken to ensure that women understand their right to vote. [?]

Voter education materials were available in all official languages as well as minority languages

  • Information and materials about voting should be available in minority languages. [?]
  • Where linguistic minorities exist, those that belong to such minorities should not be denied the right to use their own language. [?]

Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of Voter Education

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right and Opportunity to Participate in Public Affairs

Citizens were able to participate in public affairs through nongovernmental organizations

  • Everyone has the right to participate in the public affairs of his/her country. [?]
  • The participation of domestic observers may enhance all aspects of the electoral process. [?]

Observers, citizen and international, were given access to the voter education process

  • The participation of domestic observers may enhance all aspects of the electoral process. [?]

Right to an Effective Remedy and Voter Education

  • Key Obligations:
  • Right to an Effective Remedy

There was a timely and effective means of seeking redress for violations of rights, including regarding voter education

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