The process of planning for and administering elections is one of the most complex and collaborative endeavors a democracy may undertake. Each part of the electoral process must be carefully planned so tasks are implemented on time, within budget and in a transparent and fair manner. When administered properly, electoral operations contribute to voters’ and candidates' perception of the legitimacy and credibility of election outcomes. IFES supports electoral management bodies (EMBs) to ensure electoral operations comply with international standards and are appropriately contextualized, taking into consideration political, social, historical, cultural, financial and environmental factors. IFES has partnered with EMBs to make elections more credible in dozens of countries since 1987.
IFES assists EMBs to plan and responsibly implement all phases of the electoral process. This work includes budgeting, boundary delimitation, voter registration, candidate nomination, procurement, logistics, Election Day operations, counting and results transmission, out-of-country voting, election dispute resolution and other special voting services. With tools such as the Operational Planning Guide and training curriculum, IFES helps electoral officials identify all operational and resource requirements and logistical needs ahead of an election; allocate resources; assign staff to tasks; and develop a detailed timeline for the completion of processes. With the EMB Readiness Index, IFES can also monitor EMB preparedness at different stages of the electoral process and flag where bottlenecks or other problems might disrupt the flow of activities. Finally, IFES helps EMBs identify and implement technical and technological solutions to operational challenges.
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