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An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of election procedures. The exact name used varies from country to country, including such terms as "electoral commission", "central election commission", "electoral branch" or "electoral court". Election commissions can be independent, mixed, judicial or governmental. They may also be responsible for electoral boundary delimitation. In federations there may be a separate body for each subnational government.
- Independent model
In the independent model the election commission is independent of the executive and manages its own budget. Countries with an independent election commission include Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom. In some of these countries the independence of the election commission is constitutionally guaranteed e.g. section 190 of the Constitution of South Africa.
- Branch model
In the branch model the election commission is often called an electoral branch, and is usually a constitutionally-recognized separate branch of government, with its members appointed by either the executive or the legislative branch. Countries with an electoral branch include Bolivia, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
- Mixed model
In the mixed-model there is an independent board to determine policy, but implementation is usually a matter for an executive department with varying degrees of supervision by the independent board. Countries with such a model include Cameroon, France, Germany, Japan, Senegal and Spain.
- Executive model
In the executive model the election commission is directed by a cabinet minister as part of the executive branch of government, and may include local government authorities acting as agents of the central body. Countries with this model include Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United States.
- Judicial model
In the judicial model the election commission is closely supervised by and ultimately responsible to a special "electoral court". Countries with such a model include Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
Boards of elections in the United States
A board of elections is a body of officials designated to administer elections in some U.S. states and municipalities, such as New York City. The board is typically not under the direct control of the executive branch and therefore is buffered somewhat from political pressure.
An example of a board of elections in the process of selecting election commissioners appears in the image to the right—the Tangipahoa Parish Board of Election Supervisors. Such a board is established by the Louisiana Revised Statutes § 18:484. The statute specifies that such a board in every one of Louisiana's 64 parishes (counties) shall be constituted of a representative of each recognized political party plus the Registrar of Voters, the Governor's appointee, and the clerk of court. The statute articulates explicit charges to the board, including stipulating the manner of selecting the commissioners:
- "A ball made of plastic or a similar material with a number corresponding to each of the numbers on the compiled list of proposed commissioners for a precinct shall be placed in a receptacle and thoroughly mixed. The members of the parish board of election supervisors may participate in the mixing."
List of election commissions
- Albania: Central Election Commission
- Australia: Electoral Commission
- Australian Capital Territory: Electoral Commission
- New South Wales: Electoral Commission
- Northern Territory: Electoral Commission
- Queensland: Electoral Commission
- South Australia: Electoral Commission
- Tasmania: Electoral Commission
- Victoria: Electoral Commission
- Western Australia: Electoral Commission
- Bangladesh: Election Commission
- Belarus: Central Election Commission
- Belize: Elections and Boundaries Commission
- Brazil: Superior Electoral Court
- Republic of China: Central Election Commission
- Canada: Elections Canada
- Colombia: National Electoral Council
- Democratic Republic of the Congo: Independent National Electoral Commission
- Ethiopia: National Election Board
- France: Constitutional Council
- Ghana: Electoral Commission
- Guyana: Elections Commission
- Haiti: Provisional Electoral Council
- Hong Kong: Electoral Affairs Commission
- India: Election Commission
- Indonesia: Indonesian Election Commission
- Iran: Guardian Council
- Iraq: Independent High Electoral Commission
- Liberia: National Elections Commission
- Libya: High National Election Commission
- Malaysia: Election Commission
- Moldova: Central Election Commission
- Myanmar (Burma): Union Electoral Commission
- Nepal: Election Commission
- New Zealand: Electoral Commission
- Nicaragua: Supreme Electoral Council
- Nigeria: Independent National Electoral Commission
- Pakistan: Election Commission
- Palestine: Central Elections Commission
- Philippines: Commission on Elections
- Puerto Rico: State Elections Commission
- Russia: Central Election Commission
- Singapore: Elections Department
- South Africa: Independent Electoral Commission
- South Korea: National Election Commission
- Sweden: Election Authority
- Thailand: Election Commission
- Turkey: Supreme Electoral Council
- Ukraine: Central Election Commission
- United Kingdom: Electoral Commission
- United States:
- Election Assistance Commission, administers federal elections and establishes standards for state and local elections
- Federal Election Commission, regulates campaign finance legislation
- Electoral Commission, a special commission for the 1876 presidential election
- Florida: Election Commission
- New York: State Board of Elections
- Oklahoma: State Election Board
- Virginia: State Board of Elections
- Uruguay: Electoral Court
- Venezuela: National Electoral Council
- Zimbabwe: Electoral Commission
- Electoral college, a body which elects a candidate to a particular office
- Association of Central and Eastern European Election Officials
- Association of African Election Authorities
- Tangipahoa Parish Board of Election Supervisors site (accessed 2011-04-02).
- Louisiana Revised Statutes, § 18:484. This section is also annually published separately by the Louisiana Secretary of State as the Louisiana Election Code.