Digital technologies in elections

New Council of Europe publication

Digital solutions are already used in elections and increasingly discussed. Their security, i.e. compliance with constitutional principles even in the presence of attacks or system failures, has attracted attention in the recent years as it impacts the integrity of elections. Under article 3 of the additional Protocol to the ECHR the legislator has the important burden to introduce regulations that ensure that only digital solutions which comply with constitutional principles can be used in elections. This is not an easy task as the field is still experimental. The two studies presented here raise legal questions about the use of some digital technologies in the electoral cycle. They draw upon past experiences in several countries and suggest possible approaches. A checklist to the attention of the legislator is to be found at the end of the first study (conclusions).

The two studies were prepared to the attention of the Council of Europe. The first one (Developing a regulatory framework) was conducted upon request of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine with the support of the Council of Europe project on “Supporting the transparency, inclusiveness and integrity of electoral practice in Ukraine”. The second study (Overview of digital technologies used in the electoral cycle) was initially presented to the European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG) of the Council of Europe who has been given the specific task of developing standards on the use of new technologies in the different stages of the electoral process.

The Study is available in English and in Ukrainian

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