Commitments

Broaden and deepen opportunities for participation in public policy decisions related to election management

What are illustrative commitments

About this Commitment

Amibition Level

  • Advanced Step

Sources of guidance

Requires new legislation?

  • Sometimes

Justification

Public confidence in electoral processes is highest when political contestants and concerned civil society organizations (often through chosen experts) have a voice in policy formulation and decision making about electoral related processes.  Proactively explaining the rationale and responding to inquiries about the procedures and rationale for policy formulation and decision making are essential for confidence building and developing an informed public.

Recommendation

Require EMBs at each level of administration to:

  1. Regularly (at least twice annually) conduct public consultations in which citizens are permitted to make comments and suggestions on issues they choose, including about ways to make information available, and require that EMBs must receive written public comments (including by electronic means) and that they must provide a regular (at least annual) report analyzing such comments.
  2. Invite experts selected by political competitors and citizen organizations to participate in the budget development process and in the procurement process, at a minimum concerning contracts over a specified amount; provide a website that shows all electoral related procurements in process above that amount, along with descriptions of decision making procedures, and publish all electoral related contract awards over the specified amount.
  3. Provide to the public, in a widely available format (e.g., a website), a calendar of all meetings scheduled as well as those held with vendors, their agents and politicians.
  4. Provide a means for political contestants and the public to submit proposals for drawing electoral district boundaries that maximize equal suffrage and non-discrimination; require that the governmental body charged with delimiting electoral districts receive and consider such proposals, hold public consultations and issue a report on the criteria, methodology and rationale for boundary delimitation.
  5. Require legislative hearings that are open to the public and that provide for public testimony, which review the conduct of electoral processes, including the performance of EMBs and other governmental institutions that play important roles in electoral processes, and hearings on the financial performance of EMBs. The public report of the EMB should be presented to the legislature as part of these hearings, and a comprehensive report with findings and recommendations should be issued as a result of the hearings.

Standards & Guidance