Functions of the Electoral Commission
Recall that an electoral commission can be described as a body constituted under the constitution of a country with the aim of, among other things, organizing elections to elect qualified candidates into government.
- One function of an Electoral Commission is to create electoral constituencies for the purpose of conducting a elections.
- Another function of the electoral commission is to ensure that rules, regulations and guidelines are put in place to guarantee the proper conduct of free and fair elections.
- It is also the mandate of the Electoral Commission to register all eligible voters. In other words, it registers voters who have attained the age of eighteen and above but who have never been registered.
- The Electoral Commission also puts together all the materials that would be needed for the proper conduct of an election. It must ensure that ballot papers are printed, ballot boxes are procured, and vehicles are assembled to assist in the transport of the election material on time.
- It is also the duty of the Electoral Commission to recruit officials and train them to carry out specific duties on election day.
- After the election, the votes are counted and collated and it is the duty of the Electoral Commission to compile the results as well as declare winners both at the legislative level and at the presidential level.
Specific Example: Functions of the Ugandan Electoral Commission
The Electoral Commission is mandated under Article 61 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda to:
- ensure that regular, free and fair elections and referenda are held;
- organise, conduct and supervise elections and referenda in accordance with the Constitution;
- demarcate constituencies in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution;
- formulate and implement voter educational programmes related to elections;
- compile, maintain, revise and update the voters’ register;
- hear and determine election complaints arising before and during polling; and
- ascertain, publish and declare in writing under its seal the results of the elections and referenda.
The Commission shall be free from the direction or control of any authority in the performance of its functions under the Constitution (Art. 62). The Constitution alsorequires Parliament to ensure that adequate resources and facilities are provided to the Commission to enable it effectively discharge its mandate (Art. 66).