Monographs

Elections in the Midst of Covid-19: Impact on Public Health and Democracy

By Braema Mathiaparanam (Visiting Senior Research Fellow, History and Regional Studies Programme)   |   Posted on

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • Covid-19 has necessitated adjustments in electoral processes. There are lessons to be learned from various countries on the management of elections during such times.
  • In order to hold elections during a pandemic, governments have had to implement safety measures for everyone, including election officers, candidates, supporters, and to give special consideration to people undergoing Stay at Home notices.
  • Political parties have turned to social media for political campaigning, increasing the public need for reliable and verifiable information that can be shared quickly, ethically and accurately.
  • Emergency provisions unrelated to public health and which undermine fair and free electoral processes or place unnecessary restrictions on the mass media threaten constitutional principles and democracy.
  • Ultimately, fair and safe elections can be held during this pandemic as long as there is cooperation, proper preparations and effective communication between the government and the people.