Elections are essential for delivering democratic rule, in which ultimate power should reside in the citizens of a state. This introduction argues that the management and contestation of elections have now entered a qualitative new historical period because of the combined development of new technology and broader sociological developments. The era of cyber-elections is marked by: a) the new ontological existence of the digital b) new flows of data and communication c) the rapid acceleration of pace in communications d) the commodification of electoral data and e) an expansion of actors involved in elections. These provide opportunities for state actors to incorporate technology into the electoral process to improve make democratic goals more realisable. But it also poses major threats to into the running of elections as the activities of actors and potential mismanagement of the electoral process could undermine democratic ideals such as political equality and popular control of government. The article argues that this new era therefore requires proactive interventions into electoral law and the re-writing of international standards to keep pace with societal and technological change.
- electoral integrity
- electoral management
- School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies - Professor of Politics & Public Policy
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