Voting by internally displaced persons should be facilitated, including by allowing temporary changes of residence and inclusion in voter lists at a place of stay or granting a possibility to return to cast ballots.
- Internally displaced persons who have returned to their homes or places of habitual residence or who have resettled in another part of the country shall not be discriminated against as a result of their having been displaced. They shall have the right to participate fully and equally in public affairs at all levels and have equal access to public services.
- Internally displaced persons, whether or not they are living in camps, shall not be discriminated against as a result of their displacement in the enjoyment of the following rights: (c) The right to associate freely and participate equally in community affairs; (d) The right to vote and to participate in governmental and public affairs, including the right to have access to the means necessary to exercise this right.
- The Congress recommends that legal provisions at national level allow IDPs to exercise their right to vote by facilitating the procedures for changing residence and registration on voters’ lists.
- In order to avoid disenfranchisement and to facilitate the right to return, IDPs may be allowed to vote in their former places of residence, provided that security, legality and transparency of elections can be assured in accordance with international standards and best practices.
- Along similar lines, standards of the Council of Europe require member states to “grant electoral rights to all their citizens (nationals), without imposing residency requirements”, “to take appropriate legal and practical measures to enable internally displaced persons to effectively exercise their right to vote in national, regional or local elections and to ensure that this right is not infringed by obstacles of a practical nature” and “ to ensure that IDPs can exercise their right to participate in public affairs at all levels, including their right to vote or stand for election, which may require special measures such as IDP voter registration drives, or absentee ballots”.
- Authorities should ensure that IDPs are able to exercise their right to political participation while they are displaced and upon their return or relocation. Various authorities and institutions, including the electoral management body, share the responsibility of ensuring that provisions for registration and voting are established and that these processes are accessible.