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Challenges of Electoral Integrity - Pre-IPSA Workshop on Saturday 7th July 2012 in Madrid

Ioannis Andreadis's picture

Sent by Pippa Norris:

IPSA-ECP is organizing a one-day workshop on Challenges of Electoral Integrity in Madrid on 7th July 2012, prior to the IPSA World Congress 8-12th July 2012. The Workshop is co-sponsored by the International IDEA and by the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems.
The workshop focuses on the challenges of ‘electoral integrity’, understood as a complex and multidimensional concept which reflects internationally-agreed standards for the conduct of these contests.

Lack of electoral integrity is a major challenge facing the world. This includes flaws in the conduct of elections, raising issues of transparency, accountability, accuracy and ethical standards. Problems of integrity can influence all stages of the electoral process from franchise restrictions and voter registration procedures, boundary delimitation for electoral districts, party/candidate registration, campaigns, media, financing, voting, and vote counting, to the final declaration and outcome of the results. A growing body of research, by scholars and policy analysts, is starting to conceptualize the notion of ethical standards of electoral integrity, to examine techniques commonly used to manipulate electoral processes, and to analyze the consequences for citizens, legitimacy, political stability, democratization and the quality of democracy.

Challenges to electoral integrity arise from a range of techniques which violate internationally agreed standards, with different degrees of severity, such as practices which fail to respect basic political rights and civil liberties, undermine the independence of Electoral Commissions, unduly restrict ballot access for parties or candidates, repress opposition forces, limit fair and balanced access to campaign funding resources, disenfranchise citizens, coerce and intimidate voters, buy votes, manipulate election rules, limit balanced campaign news, generate fraudulent ballot counts, and prevent the legitimate victors from taking office.

Many regimes now hold elections but contests lacking integrity can generate legal disputes, reduce public confidence in democracy, and, in extreme cases, trigger outright violence and conflict.

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