New development: Running elections during a pandemic

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The Covid-19 pandemic posed a profound challenge for the delivery of elections worldwide. Elections are indispensable for democracy, but the high volume of human interactions within the electoral process risked spreading the virus. Electoral officials therefore found themselves planning or managing an election during an emergency situation, often for the first time. This article argues that there are several major organizational ‘elephant traps’ that polities will need to side-step during pandemics in order to safely protect the healthy running of elections. IMPACT: Elections often take place in during emergency situations such as pandemics, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. In order to secure electoral integrity, this article encourages governments, legislators and electoral management bodies to: build political consensuses, consider the impact on the whole electoral cycle, include a wide range of stakeholders in meetings, invest in sufficient resources, undertake risk assessments and avoid late major changes to electoral law.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-68
Number of pages4
JournalPublic Money & Management
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Covid-19
  • democracy
  • electoral integrity
  • electoral management
  • emergencies
  • natural disasters
  • public services

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