Elections must be held by universal suffrage.
- Voting operations facilitated broad participation
- The obligations of universal suffrage and the right to vote were advanced through voter education
- Vote counting and tabulation processes protected the right to be elected
- Limitations on universal suffrage imposed during the voter registration process were reasonable and objective
- Voter registration promoted universal suffrage
- The state took proactive measures to promote voting by the broadest pool of eligible voters and ensure votes cast were counted
- The vote counting and tabulation process did not discriminate against anyone on the basis of prohibited grounds
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- State Parties shall recognize popular participation through universal suffrage as the inalienable right of the people.
- 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.
- The right to vote is not a privilege. In the twenty-first century, the presumption in a democratic State must be in favour of inclusion, as may be illustrated, for example, by the parliamentary history of the United Kingdom and other countries where the franchise was gradually extended over the centuries from select individuals, elite groupings or sections of the population approved of by those in power. Universal suffrage has become the basic principle (see Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt, cited above, p. 23, § 51, citing X v. Germany, no. 2728/66, Commission decision of 6 October 1967, Collection 25, pp. 38-41).
- Any departure from the principle of universal suffrage risks undermining the democratic validity of the legislature thus elected and the laws which it promulgates. Exclusion of any groups or categories of the general population must accordingly be reconcilable with the underlying purposes of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (see Sukhovetsky v. Ukraine, no. 13716/02, § 52, ECHR 2006-VI ; Russian Conservative Party of Entrepreneurs and Others v. Russia, nos. 55066/00 and 55638/00, § 49, 11 January 2007; Krasnov and Skuratov v. Russia, nos. 17864/04 and 21396/04, § 41, 19 July 2007; and Kovach v. Ukraine, no. 39424/02, § 50, ECHR 2008).
- It is, however, for the Court to determine in the last resort whether the requirements of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 have been complied with; it has to satisfy itself that the conditions do not curtail the rights in question to such an extent as to impair their very essence and deprive them of their effectiveness; that they are imposed in pursuit of a legitimate aim; and that the means employed are not disproportionate (see Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt, loc. cit.). In particular, any conditions imposed must not thwart the free expression of the people in the choice of the legislature – in other words, they must reflect, or not run counter to, the concern to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of an electoral procedure aimed at identifying the will of the people through universal suffrage (see Hirst, cited above, § 62, and Yumak and Sadak v. Turkey [GC], no. 10226/03, § 109, ECHR 2008. The Court is not required to adopt a position on the choice between one electoral system and another. That decision, which is determined by historical and political considerations specific to each country, is in principle one which the State alone has the power to make (see Podkolzina, cited above, § 34).
- Any departure from the principle of universal suffrage risks undermining the democratic validity of the legislature thus elected and the laws which it promulgates.
- Tak[e] all necessary measures to eliminate laws, regulations and practices that discriminate, directly or indirectly, against citizens in their right to participate in public affairs on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or on the basis of disability.
- [Consider] signing and ratifying or acceding to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other core international human rights treaties.
- Tak[e] proactive measures to eliminate all barriers in law and in practice that prevent or hinder citizens, in particular women, persons belonging to marginalized groups or minorities, persons with disabilities and persons in vulnerable situations, from participating fully in effectively in political and public affairs, including, inter alia, reviewing and repealing measures that unreasonably restrict the right to participate in public affairs, and considering adopting, on the basis of reliable data on participation, temporary special measure, including legislative acts, aimed at increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in all aspects of political and public life;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.