General Session on Electoral Integrity (GS05)

IPSA-AISP 25th World Congress of Political Science, 21-25 July 2018, Brisbane



  •     GS05 General IPSA Sessions on Electoral integrity
  •     Organizer: Prof. Pippa Norris
  •     Coordinator: Megan Capriccio
  •     When: 21-25 July 2018
  •     Where: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
  •     IPSA Congress Contact:
  •     Paper proposals deadline: CLOSED
  •     Acceptance notification: 19 Jan 2018
  •     Application for EIP travel awards (see below): 1 April 2018
  •     Notification of EIP travel awards: 1 May 2018
  •     Registration deadline: 10 April 2018
  •     Paper submission deadline: 1 July 2018
  •     More details IPSA Program

THE General Sessions PANELS ON Electoral Integrity  

The general session on electoral integrity (GS05) includes research papers drawing upon diverse methods, approaches, and evidence which address the causes and consequences of electoral integrity and malpractices, and what can be done to overcome these problems, in countries around the world.


Papers focus upon a wide variety of challenges on this topic. Elections are the heart of liberal democracies yet they can be derailed through numerous types of flaws and failures. In some, there are loud cries of fraud. Fake news is disseminated. Voting rights are suppressed. District boundaries are gerrymandered. Campaign finance provides a skewed playing field for parties. Independent media are muzzled. Citizens are ill-informed about choices.  Balloting is disrupted by bloodshed. Official records are hacked. Ballot boxes are stuffed. Vote counts are fiddled. Opposition parties withdraw. Contenders refuse to accept the people’s choice. Protests disrupt polling. Officials abuse state resources.  Electoral registers are out-of-date. Candidates distribute largesse. Votes are bought. Airwaves favor incumbents. Campaigns are awash with hidden cash. Political finance rules are lax. Incompetent local officials run out of ballot papers. Incumbents are immune from effective challengers. Rallies trigger riots. Women candidates face discrimination. Ethnic minorities are persecuted. Voting machines jam. Lines lengthen.  Ballot box seals break. Citizens cast more than one ballot. Legal requirements serve to suppress voting rights. Polling stations are inaccessible. Software crashes. ‘Secure’ ink washes off fingers.  Courts fail to resolve complaints impartially.  Each of these diverse problems can generate contentious elections characterized by lengthy court challenges, opposition boycotts, public protest, or, at worst, deadly violence. These challenges make democratic institutions more vulnerable, corrode public trust, and undermine electoral legitimacy. They heighten the threat of democratic backsliding, and authoritarian resurgence, in countries around the world.


  • Electoral Integrity and the Quest for Secret Voting: What is a secret vote and who is responsible for securing that only the voter will know for certain how she or he voted (if at all)? Papers aim to elucidate not only different ways of securing the secrecy of the vote, but also how some attempts of securing the secrecy of the vote are not achieving their aim.
    • Prof Carsten Schuermann and Ms. Leontine Loeber. A Framework to Analyze Vote Secrecy in Evidence-Based Elections.
    • Dr Peter Brent. Do we still need the secret ballot?
    • Mr. Michael Maley. The Secret Ballot in Australia: What does it mean and how secret is it really?
    • Prof. Jorgen Elklit. Why is Voting in Sweden Not Secret Enough? An Illustration of the Problems in Securing Electoral Integrity.
  • Elections and Democratic AttitudesThis panel explores the relationship between elections and attitudes towards democracy. Three of the papers investigate this relationship cross-nationally, while one focuses on France.
    • Dr Rejane Senac and Dr Janie Pelabay. Critical Citizens on the eve of the 2017 French presidential election.
    • Prof. Masaaki Higashijima and Dr Nicholas Kerr. Does Time Heal Old Wounds? Electoral Cycles of Democratic Satisfaction and the Quality of Elections in Africa.
    • Prof. Jeffrey Karp and Dr Laura Sudulich. Electoral Competition and Attitudes about Democracy
    • Dr Sarah Cameron, Prof. Pippa Norris, & Dr Thomas Wynter. Electoral Integrity and Satisfaction with Democracy in Cross-National Comparison.
  • Electoral Integrity in Mexico: This panel explores various dimensions of electoral integrity in Mexico. Papers cover electoral integrity in sub-national elections, the role of election observation, voting behavior in local and national elections, and the effectiveness of electoral reform, all in the Mexican context.
    • Dr Miguel Angel Lara Otaola. Democratic Diffusion in Mexico: Is election observation effective?
    • Dr Irma Mendez de Hoyos, Dr Nicolas Loza, Dr Ferran Martinez i Coma and Dr Max Gromping. Electoral management and perceptions of subnational electoral integrity in Mexico.
    • Ms Mariana Meneses. Local and National Elections: When do We Vote in the Same Parties?
    • Mr Erick Perez Mora and Miss Claudia Andrea Hernandez. The impact of Last Electoral Reform on the Mexican Elections.
  • Challenges of Voter Registration in Old and New Democracies: This panel explores some of the issues surrounding voter registration practices, including online registration and how 'dead voters' may lead to electoral fraud. Each of the papers focuses on voter registration challenges in a different country case, including the United States, Kenya, the United Kingdom and Peru.
    • Dr Shoko Kiyohara.  Adoption of Online Voter Registration Systems as the New Trend of US Voter Registration Reform.
    • Prof. J. Andrew Harris. Dead Voters.
    • Ms Mariana V Ramirez Bustamante. Scenarios and Causes of the Pre-Electoral Residential Registration in Peru: An Analysis from the Municipal Elections of 2014.
    • Dr Ian Graham. The Social Construction of the Fraudulent Voter and the Processes to Stop Them: the UK Electoral Commission as Activist Regulator.
  • Electoral Integrity in South-East Asia and the Pacific: This panel explores a range of electoral integrity issues in South-East Asia and the Pacific. The panel combines single case and comparative studies in the region. Topics include women's representation in the 2017 Papua New Guinea election, authoritarian elections in Vietnam, electoral manipulation in South-East Asia, vote-buying in Indonesia, and independent electoral commissions in the Philippines and Thailand.
    • Dr George Towar Ikbal Tawakkal.  Building Brokerage Networks: Transactional and Social Relationships in Indonesia.
    • Mr Elvin Ong. Electoral Manipulation, Opposition Power, and Institutional Change: Contesting for Electoral Reform in Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia.
    • Dr Segundo Joaquin, Jr. Romero and Dr Thawilwadee Bureekul: Independent Electoral Commissions (IECs) for inclusive, Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections (I-HOPE): A Performance Indicator Framework based on the Experience of the Philippines and Thailand.
    • Dr Kerryn Baker. The Gendered Experiences of Candidates and Voters in the 2017 Papua New Guinea Election.
    • Mr. Minh Trinh. Vietnam's Tea Leaf Elections: Inferring Purpose for Authoritarian Elections from Post-election Responses to Local Defeats.
  • Election Management and Observation: This panel explores the role of election observers and election management bodies. The papers are comparative in scope, and include a focus on Africa and Latin America.
    • Mr Rodrigo Vaz. A Talking Shop? Assessing the impact of the EU Election Observation Missions to Kenya.
    • Dr Susan Dodsworth. Double Standards: Electoral Violence and the Verdicts of International Election Observers in Africa
    • Prof. Gabriela Tarouco. Electoral Integrity and Reforms in Latin American Institutions of Electoral Governance.
    • Ms Katherine Ellena. Electoral Leadership in Crisis.
  • Challenges of Electoral Integrity in Europe and the United States: This panel brings together papers on electoral integrity, with case studies of Germany, Bulgaria, Russia, Croatia, and the United States. Topics include gerrymandering, vote-buying, electoral system preferences, and the role of social media.
    • Mr Alexey Baryshev and Dr Eugeny Shchekotin. A Computational Political Study of the Online Activity of Oppositionists in the Framework of Parliamentary Elections in Russia.
    • Prof. Eric Linhart and Dr Markus Tepe. Electoral System Preferences of the Electorate. Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment in the Context of the German Federal Election 2017.
    • Prof. Robert Podolnjak. Gerrymandering in the Context of a Proportional Electoral System- the Special Case of Croatia.
    • Mr Brent Commerer.  Outcome-Based Versus Institution-Based Measures of Gerrymandering.
    • Dr Stoycho Stoychev. Vote Buying and Clientelistic Voting as a Tool for State Capture in Contemporary Bulgarian Context.
  • Electoral Integrity in Cross-National Comparison: This panel explores a range of electoral integrity issues in diverse contexts. Topics include voter registration in Kenya, political reform in Brazil, and in comparative perspective - studies of electoral legitimacy, and the use of legal means to bring about undemocratic outcomes.
    • Mrs. Ana Lucia Henrique.  Do Party Rules Matter for Electoral Integrity? Possible effects of the 2017 Brazilian Political Reform on Future Party Configurations in the Coming 2018 Elections.
    • Dr Anaid Flesken and Mr Jakob Hartl.  Ethnic Power Relations and Electoral Fairness: The Intersecting Effect of Social Status.
    • Prof. J. Andrew Harris and Dr Peter Van der Windt. Overcoming Barriers to Voter Registration: A Field Experiment in Kenya.
    • Dr Andrea Fumarola. The Contexts of Electoral Accountability: Electoral Integrity-Performance Voting in Twenty-Three Democracies.


A limited number of travel awards will be available for selected applicants who have a paper accepted in these panels. The awards will provide a partial subsidy of up to AU$200 for travel by Australian residents and up to AU$500 for international travel. Priority will be given to participants who live and work (or study) in emerging/developing countries, early career scholars, and women. Reimbursement will be made on submission of receipts and an expense claim after the event. The application process will be administered by EIP. 


Participants (paper-givers, discussants and chairs) for the Electoral Integrity Session panels will be invited to an informal drinks reception and dinner at a local restaurant on Monday the 23rd July, at 7:30pm.


Queries about the General Session on Electoral Integrity should be addressed to

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