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date: 13 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The administration of elections is a complex, multistage process involving registration, structuring the voting process (which may include both in-person and remote voting), and then tabulating and auditing the results. Failures during this process can result in maladministration or claims of electoral mismanagement and fraud. Although such problems are typically associated with authoritarian states, experiences in established democracies illustrate that election administration failures can result in claims of voting fraud. Understanding the failure points in election administration is critical, given the role that elections play in the democratic process and the loss of public confidence in elections that can occur when elections are not implemented successfully. Although the general public may not understand the specific international standards for a “free and fair” election, they do know what constitutes an unfair or corrupt election. Through effective election management, administrators can maintain public confidence in democracy.

Keywords: election administration, standard operating procedures, training, voter registration, voting

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