Meaning of Electoral Reforms

Electoral reform is a change that is introduce in the electoral systems. This is mainly done to improve how public desires are expressed in election results. The need for electoral reform is usually to improve the voting process, for more transparency in the voting process, as well as to ensure that the voting process is fair and justified.

Electoral reforms can include:

• A change in voting systems, such as proportional representation, a two-round system also known as runoff voting, instant-runoff voting, Instant Round Robin Voting called Condorcet Voting, approval voting, citizen initiatives and referendums and recall elections.
• Vote-counting procedures
• Rules about political parties
• Changes to election laws
• Change in the eligibility to vote
• Nomination rules and ballot access
• Electoral constituencies and election district borders
• Ballot design and voting equipment
• Election monitoring by candidates, political parties, etc.
• Safety of voters and election workers
• Measures against bribery, coercion, and conflicts of interest
• Financing of candidates’ and referendum campaigns
• Voter turnout

Electoral reforms can be on a local basic or on a national basis. The electoral reforms introduced on the national basis are the one that get the most media coverage. The United Nations Fair Elections Commission provides international observers to national elections to ensure that the elections are fair. The United Nations standards address safety of citizens, coercion, scrutiny, and eligibility to vote. They do not impose ballot styles, party diversity, or borders on electoral constituencies.

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