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  • Universal Suffrage

    Elections must be held by universal suffrage.
    • Voter Education, Voter Registration, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation

      “To vote and be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the voter.”

    • Voter Education, Voter Registration, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation

      “In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in article 2 of this Convention, States Parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights: (c) Political rights, in particular the right to participate in elections-to vote and to stand for election-on the basis of universal and equal suffrage, to take part in the Government as well as in the conduct of public affairs at any level and to have equal access to public service.”

    • Voter Education, Voter Registration, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation

      “Every citizen shall enjoy the following rights: b. to vote and to be elected in genuine periodic elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters.”

    • Voter Education, Voter Registration, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation

      “Everyone shall have the right and opportunity and in the state of which he is a citizen (b) to vote and to be elected at elections held on the basis of universal and equal suffrage by secret ballot, that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters.”

    • Voter Education, Voter Registration, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation

      “State Parties shall recognize popular participation through universal suffrage as the inalienable right of the people.”

    • Voter Education, Voter Registration, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation

      “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”

    • Voter Education, Voter Registration, Voting Operations, Vote Counting and Tabulation

      “To ensure that the will of the people serves as the basis of the authority of government, the participating States will: (7.3) guarantee universal and equal suffrage to adult citizens.”

    • Voter Registration, Vote Counting and Tabulation, Voter Education, Voting Operations

      “Essential elements of representative democracy include, inter alia, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to and the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law, the holding of periodic, free, and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal suffrage as an expression of the sovereignty of the people, the pluralistic system of political parties and organizations, and the separation of powers and independence of the branches of government.”

  • Universal Suffrage

    Polling sites must be accessible.
    • Voting Operations

      “Ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected, inter alia. by: i) Ensuring that voting procedures, facilities and materials are appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use.”

    • Voting Operations

      “…[F]ranchise should be extended as broadly as possible and voting should be practicable for those eligible to vote. This may require broad distribution of polling sites and special arrangements for the handicapped.”

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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

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American Convention on Human Rights

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Commonwealth of Independent States Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

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African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE

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Inter-American Democratic Charter

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Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Guidelines for International Election Observing

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