The fundamental aspects of the electoral law should be enshrined in the constitution or at another level higher than ordinary law.
- The electoral system was enshrined in law at the highest level (e.g., the constitution)
- There were clear legal provisions regarding the electoral system and boundary delimitation
- Key aspects of the election process were enshrined in law at the highest level (e.g., the electoral system was enshrined in the constitution)
- Participatory rights were protected at the highest level of the law (the constitution)
- Guarantees for the fundamental right of periodic free and fair elections which universal, equal, and non-discriminatory suffrage and secret balloting, and for the right to be elected and to have access to the public service on equal terms should be enshrined in the Constitution or other high organic law of the State.
- Inclusion of the basic principles of the election system in the constitution creates a safeguard against frequent changes. Constitutional amendments are often subject to a qualified majority vote or other onerous processes. Thus, it is a recommended practice to include the fundamental guarantees protecting suffrage rights in a country's constitution. This would include provisions regulating the very basis of the electoral system, such as the right to elect and be elected, the institutions subject to democratic elections, and terms of office of elected candidates.
- The fundamental elements of electoral law, in particular the electoral system proper, membership of electoral commissions and the drawing of constituency boundaries, should not be open to amendment less than one year before an elections, or should be written in the constitution or at a level higher than ordinary law.
- The underlying principles of European electoral systems can only be guaranteed if certain general conditions are fulfilled. • The first, general, condition is respect for fundamental human rights, and particularly freedom of expression, assembly and association, without which there can be no true democracy; • Second, electoral law must enjoy a certain stability, protecting it against party political manipulation; • Last and above all, a number of procedural guarantees must be provided, especially as regards the organisation of polling.
- The electoral system should be entrenched in the Constitution. The Electoral Act should clearly set out the form, content and operation of the electoral system adopted.
- The rights and freedoms proclaimed above can best be guaranteed by embodiment in constitutions or other fundamental laws none which should be subject to repeal or alteration by ordinary legislation.
- One way of avoiding manipulation is to define in the Constitution or in a text higher in status than ordinary law the elements that are most exposed (the electoral system itself, the membership of electoral commissions, constituencies or rules on drawing constituency boundaries). Another, more flexible, solution would be to stipulate in the Constitution that, if the electoral law is amended, the old system will apply to the next election – at least if it takes place within the coming year – and the new one will take effect after that.