States should ensure the voter registration process is conducted in a manner that respects a variety of rights.
- In particular, a deficient electoral roll would affect a priori voters’ rights, which, admittedly, is not the issue in the instant case. However, the effectiveness of the right to stand for election is undoubtedly contingent upon the fair exercise of the right to vote. Thus, if an electoral roll omits to include some voters and/or allows the multi-registration of others, such mismanagement would not only undermine voters’ interests but could also diminish the candidates’ chances to stand equally and fairly for election. The Court thus finds that a sufficiently close causal link exists between the applicant party’s right to stand in the repeat parliamentary election of 28 March 2004 and its complaint about the voter registration system prevailing at that time.
- The Court considers that the proper management of electoral rolls is a pre-condition for a free and fair ballot. Permitting all eligible voters to be registered preserves, inter alia, the principles of universality and the equality of the vote, and maintains general confidence in the State administration of electoral processes. The inaccuracy of electoral rolls may, in the eyes of the Court, seriously taint the effectiveness and practicability of electoral rights under Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (see, mutatis mutandis, Melnychenko, cited above, § 59).