Electoral legislation should be made widely available to the public for review.
- Election legislation should be published and made readily available for the public.
- The legal framework should be structured so that it is readily accessible to the public, transparent, addresses all the components of an electoral system necessary to ensure democratic elections, and is adopted sufficiently in advance of polling to be implemented.
- Each public body and relevant private body must publish the following information produced by or in relation to that body within 30 days of the information being generated or received by that body: manuals, policies, procedures or rules or similar instruments which have been prepared for, or are used by, officers of the body in discharging that body’s functions, exercising powers and handling complaints, making decisions or recommendations or providing advice to persons outside the body with respect to rights, privileges or benefits, or to obligations, penalties or other detriments, to or for which persons may be entitled.
- All stakeholders should have access to copies of laws and regulations.
- The legal framework should, therefore, be drafted in an open and inclusive manner in order to secure broad confidence among competing political parties and candidates, and voters. It is good practice that significant changes in the legal framework are not introduced shortly before an election, except under exceptional circumstances and when the amendments have broad political support.
- Although a government has the flexibility in determining the structure of the legal framework, the primary instrument in the field of elections must be a written law, as opposed to custom or a collection of administrative policies. As the instrument of choice, written law provides the benefits of equity, certainty, visibility and transparency, and makes the matter subject to judicial interpretation and review, as well as open to recourse by citizens.
- Electoral legislation should be published and readily available to the public.