Guidance for Civil Society on Elections With Integrity During COVID-19

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Participants take part in an Election Day simulation exercise to identify potential problems ahead of Ukraine's 2020 local elections.

Civil society actors have an important role to play in ensuring that democratic principles are upheld around the world to protect and preserve fundamental rights. The coronavirus pandemic has inevitably impacted all aspects of social, economic and political life. These challenging times have introduced significant new hurdles for electoral integrity, and governments across the world have been trying to navigate how to hold safe and accessible elections. Civil society and international organizations have equally been supporting these efforts to ensure that free, fair, safe and accessible elections are a reality during the time of COVID-19 and beyond.

In their commitments and strong belief in preserving democratic rights, the Open Society Foundations and the Kofi Annan Foundation convened a collective of core group organizations to draft Guidance for Civil Society and Its Supporters on Elections With Integrity During COVID-19. This advisory document provides civil society actors and its supporters with important tools to protect electoral integrity despite the pandemic and has been endorsed by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and the Election Observation Research Network.

This short and digestible guide highlights the most critical aspects to address protecting the franchise and protecting the integrity of the information environment. It includes a directory of analysis, research and case studies compiled throughout the year. The guidance is globally relevant, and can serve as a starting point for civil society actors to address issues impacting on electoral integrity, and to preserve and protect democratic institutions.

Published on November 2, 2020.

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