IFES: Assessing Electoral Fraud in New Democracies

March 9, 2011, 8:24 p.m.

Recent election events around the world show that fraud is undermining the electoral process in both established democracies and transitional societies. If the electoral process is not pro-actively and strategically safeguarded, efforts to combat electoral fraud in an effective and credible manner will be extremely challenging. IFES is releasing a series of three white papers introducing a groundbreaking framework for deterring this corrosive practice.

Assessing Electoral Fraud in New Democracies: A New Strategic Approach , the second paper in the series, introduces a significantly improved model to combat electoral fraud. Among the issues discussed in the paper are:

  • How election management bodies (EMBs) currently approach the electoral fraud issue

  • How EMBs can strengthen their capacity to more effectively combat this practice

  • The roles and responsibilities of the other main actors in deterring fraud

About the Author: Dr. Staffan Darnolf is an IFES senior advisor with extensive experience in election administration and strengthening the capacity of EMBs to plan and organize democratic elections. He has worked on projects in more than a dozen countries. Dr. Darnolf holds a BA in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Goteborg University, Sweden. He currently serves as IFES' chief of party in Zimbabwe.

The first paper in the series, Assessing Electoral Fraud in New Democracies: A Basic Conceptual Framework by Rafael López-Pintor, discusses the importance of focusing on fraud in new democracies; provides a definition for fraud (as opposed to corruption or malpractice); sheds light on the different agents who can perpetrate fraud and why it can be difficult to identify them; and assesses how international democratic standards intersect with the prevention of electoral fraud.

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