Publication | Report/Paper

Out-of-Country Voting: A Brief Overview

This paper provides a brief overview of the options, risks and opportunities for nations considering out‐of‐country voting (OCV). A growing political and electoral phenomenon, OCV presents risks and opportunities that could significantly impact domestic politics. Such complexities are highlighted in the paper to help decision-makers understand key issues around the enfranchisement of the diaspora. An analysis of the various methods of OCV is presented based on international best practices and lessons learned from earlier OCV experiences. The paper advocates for a consultative decision-making process - including public hearings held abroad with diaspora communities – to gain acceptance and support of the final decision.

A selection of key literature is available in a listing at the end of the paper. This selection contains a wide array of global case studies and statistics, which provide important insight into the successes and failures of other nations. Studying this is pivotal to making an informed decision and effectively implementing out‐of‐country voting anywhere.

Published April 2012.