Election commission

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This article is about bodies which oversee elections. For bodies which elect people to particular offices, see Electoral college.

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.

Electoral models[edit]

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.

List of election commissions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]