Claims of voter fraud and voter suppression in US elections. Robo-call scandals in Canada. Allegations of vote-buying in Mexican contests. Ballot-stuffing in Armenia. Heavy-handed suppression of human rights in Iranian contests.
What do all these problems have in common?
On June 3-4th 2013, over seventy leading international scholars and practitioners met at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University to discuss electoral integrity. More than thirty papers presented new research investigating the causes and consequences of problems of electoral integrity.
Organized by the Electoral Integrity Project, the workshop debated issues as diverse as public trust and confidence in elections in the United States, Latin America, and sub-Saharen Africa, the performance of Electoral Management Bodies in the UK, Central America and Sudan, and new techniques for detecting voter fraud in Ghana, the US and Afghanistan. All papers are available at www.electoralintegrityproject.com.
The workshop concluded with a panel discussing the next steps in the research agenda which would be most useful for the international community. The panel included representatives from the Carter Center, IFES, the Organization of American States, the United Nations Development Programme, Democracy International and international IDEA.
Overall the workshop strengthened the networks of scholars and practitioners focused on these challenges and laid the outlines for the next generation of research strengthening electoral integrity. The subsequent workshop to develop this program will meet in Chicago on 28 August 2013 in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.