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Electoral Commission

What is an Electoral Commission?

An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of election procedures. The formal names of election commissions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and may be styled an electoral commission, a central or state election commission, an election board, an electoral council or an electoral court. Electoral commissions can be independent, mixed, judicial or executive.

They may also be responsible for electoral boundary delimitation. In federations there may be a separate body for each subnational government. The election commission has a duty to perform election related activities in an orderly manner. For election related problems, the Electoral Commission is responsible.

Electoral Models

Independent Model:

In the independent model the election commission is independent of the executive and manages its own budget. Countries with an independent election commission include Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United Kingdom. In some of these countries the independence of the election commission is constitutionally guaranteed e.g. section 190 of the Constitution of South Africa.

Branch Model:

In the branch model the election commission is often called an electoral branch, and is usually a constitutionally-recognized separate branch of government, with its members appointed by either the executive or the legislative branch. Countries with an electoral branch include Bolivia, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Mixed Model:

In the mixed-model there is an independent board to determine policy, but implementation is usually a matter for an executive department with varying degrees of supervision by the independent board. Countries with such a model include Cameroon, France, Germany, Japan, Senegal and Spain.

Executive Model:

In the executive model the election commission is directed by a cabinet minister as part of the executive branch of government, and may include local government authorities acting as agents of the central body. Countries with this model include Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia. In the United States, elections for federal, state, and local offices are run by the executive branch of each state government – see, for example, the Division of Elections of the Florida Department of State.

Judicial Model:

In the judicial model the election commission is closely supervised by and ultimately responsible to a special “electoral court“. Countries with such a model include Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

List of Election Commissions for Different Countries

  • Afghanistan: Independent Election Commission
  • Afghanistan: Election Complaints Commission
  • Albania: Central Election Commission
  • Australia: Australian Electoral Commission
  • Bangladesh: Election Commission
  • Belarus: Central Election Commission
  • Belize: Elections and Boundaries Commission
  • Bolivia: Plurinational Electoral Organ
  • Brazil: Superior Electoral Court
  • Republic of China (Taiwan): Central Election Commission
  • Canada: Elections Canada
  • Colombia: National Electoral Council
  • Costa Rica: Supreme Electoral Court
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Independent National Electoral Commission
  • Egypt: High Elections Committee
  • Ethiopia: National Election Board
  • France: Constitutional Council
  • Ghana: Electoral Commission
  • Guyana: Elections Commission
  • Haiti: Provisional Electoral Council
  • Hong Kong: Electoral Affairs Commission
  • India: Election Commission
  • Indonesia: General Elections Commission
  • Iran: Guardian Council
  • Iraq: Independent High Electoral Commission
  • Israel: Israeli Central Elections Committee
  • Jordan: Independent Election Commission
  • Kenya: Interim Independent Electoral Commission
  • Liberia: National Elections Commission
  • Libya: High National Election Commission
  • Malaysia: Election Commission
  • Mexico: Federal Electoral Institute and Federal Electoral Tribunal
  • Moldova: Central Election Commission
  • Myanmar (Burma): Union Electoral Commission
  • Nepal: Election Commission
  • New Zealand: Electoral Commission
  • Nicaragua: Supreme Electoral Council
  • Nigeria: Independent National Electoral Commission
  • Norway: Norwegian Directorate of Elections
  • Pakistan: Election Commission
  • Palestine: Central Elections Commission
  • Philippines: Commission on Elections
  • Puerto Rico: State Elections Commission
  • Russia: Central Election Commission
  • Singapore: Elections Department
  • South Africa: Independent Electoral Commission
  • South Korea: National Election Commission
  • Spain: Junta Electoral Central
  • Sri Lanka: Election Commission of Sri Lanka
  • Sweden: Election Authority
  • Tanzania : National Electoral Commission
  • Thailand: Election Commission
  • Tunisia: Independent High Authority for Elections
  • Turkey: Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey
  • Ukraine: Central Election Commission
  • United Kingdom: Electoral Commission
  • United States: Varies in some states but generally the Election Assistance Commission which administers federal elections and establishes standards for state and local elections, and the Federal Election Commission, which regulates campaign finance legislation
  • Uruguay: Electoral Court
  • Venezuela: National Electoral Council
  • Zimbabwe: Electoral Commission

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