Politics and SocietyReference:
On specificity of organization and conduct of elections during the COVID-19 pandemic (certain aspects)
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic significantly undermined the democratic values around the globe, which also pertains to elections. The subject of this research is some aspects of organization and conduct of elections of different level that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the change of usual course of the electoral process and its separate stages. Relevance of the selected topic is evident, as the COVID-19 pandemic called into question the timely conduct of elections. The author set the task to examine the specificity of organization and conduct of elections at the time of pandemic in reference to the separate stages of electoral process that appeared to be significantly affected by the pandemic. Special attention is turned to postponement of the elections, which is directly related to the initial stage of electoral process – calling of the election. Emphasis is also place on the implementation of special regimes during pandemic. Another important legal issue is the question of voting – the primary stage of the electoral process. The article discusses special methods of voting applied at the time of pandemic, such as remote voting, postal voting, early voting, etc. Postponement of the elections during COVID-19 pandemic should be viewed as a new legal phenomenon in the practice of elections that is of massive scale and has direct impact upon the electoral process, its separate stages, guarantees of electoral rights, voting method, voting turnout, and election results. There is a need for development of detailed mechanism that would regulate postponement of the elections, namely in emergency situations, as well as include the corresponding provisions into the existing national electoral legislation in order to ensure genuine guarantees of conducting free and periodic elections. The acquired results can be valuable in improvement of electoral legislation, development of rules for conducting elections at the time of pandemic. Most effective foreign experience should be also taken into account in electoral practice of the Russian Federation.
Keywords: international electoral standards, electronic voting, mobile voting, postal voting, remote voting, special voting methods, postponement of elections, elections, COVID-19 pandemic, emergency
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