Registration must not be restricted among potential voters based on status as an internally displaced person.
- As citizens of the country, IDPs should still retain all of their political rights, including the right to participate in the country’s electoral process. Measures will need to be taken to ensure their enjoyment of these rights. In particular, this will include a continuation of their right to suffrage and their right to cast a vote, which may be affected by their forced change of residence or loss of documentation.
- The Congress recommends that legal provisions at national level allow IDPs to exercise their right to vote by facilitating the procedures for changing residence and registration on voters’ lists.
- In order to avoid disenfranchisement and to facilitate the right to return, IDPs may be allowed to vote in their former places of residence, provided that security, legality and transparency of elections can be assured in accordance with international standards and best practices.
- Along similar lines, standards of the Council of Europe require member states to “grant electoral rights to all their citizens (nationals), without imposing residency requirements”, “to take appropriate legal and practical measures to enable internally displaced persons to effectively exercise their right to vote in national, regional or local elections and to ensure that this right is not infringed by obstacles of a practical nature” and “ to ensure that IDPs can exercise their right to participate in public affairs at all levels, including their right to vote or stand for election, which may require special measures such as IDP voter registration drives, or absentee ballots”.
- Authorities should ensure that IDPs are able to exercise their right to political participation while they are displaced and upon their return or relocation. Various authorities and institutions, including the electoral management body, share the responsibility of ensuring that provisions for registration and voting are established and that these processes are accessible.