Toolkit - Monitoring the Impact of New Election Technologies in Elections

Monday, April 29, 2024

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The increased presence of electronic technologies in our daily lives has brought considerable and concrete benefits. We can communicate with friends, family and colleagues seamlessly through email, social media or messenger apps, send or receive money on our mobile devices, have access to a wealth of information, and conduct our work more efficiently and with fewer mistakes. Reflecting these benefits, there have been growing calls for electronic technologies to be incorporated into the administration of election processes to make them more efficient, user friendly and error free, ultimately increasing public trust.

However, it is also important to recognize that any changes to election procedures have the potential of introducing additional challenges to electoral integrity. Technology solutions that are the product of opaque processes result in less transparency or are prone to failures could result in less, not more, public trust in the technology and the electoral process as a whole. The systemic failure of some technologies, such as the ones used to identify voters, count and aggregate votes, or transmit results, could cast doubt on the credibility and validity of the election.

This toolkit provides both a framework and a roadmap for citizen and international observers to assess the impact, positive or negative, that adopting new electronic electoral technologies (EETs), also known as electoral information and communication technologies (eICTs), could have on the inclusiveness, transparency and accountability of election processes.

The toolkit includes:

  • A set of principles and guidelines to consider during the adoption of EETs, developed by NDI in collaboration with other organizations endorsing the Declaration of Principles of Election Observation.

  • A model checklist for monitoring the introduction of EETs

  • Model recommendations for stakeholders responsible for the approval, funding or implementation of EETs

  • Research on the EET vendor landscape

These resources complement prior NDI publications, including:

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