How to maintain integrity of elections during the Covid-19 pandemic


This latest report from UK think tank the Foreign Policy Centre looks at the challenges in maintaining democratic elections during Covid-19.

This new briefing by the Foreign Policy Centre looks at the practical and political challenges in maintaining democratic elections during the current crisis. It was written by FPC Research Fellow Dr. Beata Martin-Rozumilowicz (Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems-IFES) and Rasto Kuzel is Executive Director of Slovakian media rights organisation Memo 98. It sees to answer important questions including ‘How Does Democratic Life Continue Online?’, ‘Can Elections be Held Safely?’, ‘Can Technology Help and What are the Risks?’ while examining the impact of disinformation in the context of the current crisis. The briefing shows how authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes are exploiting opportunities provided by public health restrictions to consolidate their power, while examining the very real trade-offs involved in the operation of elections at this time. It raises concerns about the expansion of online voting without appropriate safeguards in place, arguing it is not yet ‘ready for primetime’. They believe the focus should be placed on openly discussing and deciding on the measures that need to be implemented for voters to be able to make their choice in protected environments, with limited exposure to their personal health and well-being.

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