Voters are free to vote for any candidate for election, for or against any referendum or proposal, for or against the government, without undue influence or coercion of any kind which may distort or inhibit free expression.
- Persons entitled to vote must be free to vote for any candidate for election and for or against any proposal submitted to referendum or plebiscite, and free to support or to oppose government, without undue influence or coercion of any kind which may distort or inhibit the free expression of the voter's will.
- The e-voting system shall not permit any manipulative influence to be exercised over the voter during voting.
- STOs should observe the general conditions outside and around the polling station. A number of issues are relevant: Are voters being offered any inducements to vote in a particular manner?
- The legal framework must address a myriad of issues to ensure a genuine opportunity to exercise the right to vote on the basis of equal and universal suffrage. These issues concern conditions outside the polling sites, as well as inside it, before, during and after voting takes place. The provisions must ensure, among other things, that: Violence, intimidation, vote buying and other forms of coercion are prohibited in and around polling stations.
- The right to vote and the free expression of the will of the electorate may be undermined where there is intimidation, undue influence or coercion of the voter. Voters should be free from violence or the threat of violence. Instances of bribery or other unfair inducements to vote for a certain candidate also compromise the free expression of the will of the electorate.
- Issues and procedures to observe include: is there any sign of partisan campaign materials or campaign activity in the polling station?
- [States should foster citizen participation in the electoral process by] requiring that political parties permanently refrain from exercising pressure, violence and intimidation on the population, and protecting voters and candidates against such threats. This requires strict compliance with the principle of secrecy of the ballot and application of dissuasive but proportionate sanctions against perpetrators of any of these violations.
- No unauthorised person, including members of the security forces, agents or observers, should interfere in the conduct of polling or the exercise of the elector's right to vote.
- Voting can only be considered free if voters perceive that they are uninhibited from casting their vote according to their individual will. Intimidation [and] bribery…pose serious threats to a free voting environment.
- Votes must be cast without pressure from anybody. The vote should be cast personally in full secrecy, in an atmosphere free from pressure and intimidation, without the possibility of tracing individual votes.