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Harvard Club of Australia: Flawed Elections? Understanding Electoral Integrity from Authoritarian Regimes to Advanced Democracies

  • JBWere, Level 42, Governor Phillip Tower, 1 Farrer Place Sydney Australia (map)

Almost all countries around the world now hold elections, although the quality of these contests varies considerably. Issues range from overt malpractices, such as imprisoning adversaries and rigging vote-counts through to more minor irregularities, for example inaccurate vote registers and biased media coverage. Whilst some of the greatest problems for electoral integrity are found in authoritarian states, or those navigating transitions to democracy, a range of challenges are also faced in advanced democracies. In the United States, district boundaries are gerrymandered to bias the results. In the United Kingdom, recent changes to voter registration processes meant that many eligible electors dropped off the register.

In this lunchtime talk, Dr Sarah Cameron, the Electoral Integrity Project Manager and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, presents an overview of the state of electoral integrity around the world across different types of political regime. This draws upon the work of the Electoral Integrity Project assessing the quality of elections since 2012, covering 285 elections in 164 countries to date. The talk will delve into challenges from recent and upcoming elections, including Malaysia, the United States midterm elections, as well as Australia.

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