Essay Sample on Free and Fair Elections: The Basic Standards

Posted on February 4, 2008

The election is the process in which the members of a particular community or nation are voting and choosing their leaders. That’s how elections are being defined in a democratic society. When it comes to democracy, elections should be free and fair to ensure that the leaders are acceptable to all members of society. Therefore, elections should give basic freedom to all citizens that include full participation in the process. For example, people should be around to join a political party of their choice, without fear of intimidation. What is more, they should have direct access to political and election information through civic education. Besides, every citizen should also have the right to vote secretly, without coition or vote-buying.

Therefore, fair elections must by a well-planned process, which is not only impartial but also satisfies the basic national standards. It is by means of free and fair elections that citizen can express their will and choose the elected representatives. For that reason, the leaders are expected to be not only elected in a free and fair election but also removed from the office through the same process. In other words, every person who intimidates, corrupts, and threatens the citizens before or after the election, becomes an enemy of democracy.

When it comes to voting, it is important to mention the so-called elections rights. First of all, every adult citizen is provided with the right to choose their preferred candidate in the election. Nobody has the right to discriminate electorate, whatever the reason for such actions. In addition to an absolute right to participate in voting, adult citizens also have the right to access a non-discriminatory, impartial, and effective process of registration. The latter is an integral part of the procedure. No eligible and legal adult resident should be denied the right to participate in the process of voting or be banned to register as a voter.

In all democratic societies, every person who is disqualified from registering as a voter or voting itself has the right to approach a jurisdiction qualified in reviewing these issues and fixing errors effectively and quickly.

In order to vote, adult citizens are provided with direct access to the so-called polling station that enables them to exercise their right to choose political leaders. In the best-written laws, people are provided with an opportunity to exercise their rights equally with the other members of a particular society in order to have their votes given equal weight to that of others.
Your right to vote secretly. In other words, you don’t have to tell anyone about your final decision or share any information about your political views or preferences. Your right cannot be restricted, regardless of the reason.

When it comes to free and fair elections, the body conducting the election exercise must be impartial, transparent, and capable of enforcing the elector rulers, especially the elector code of conduct. All parties and candidates should be treated equally without discrimination. The election body should ensure that all contestants or candidates offering themselves for elections should have equal opportunities, especially in the use of public resources during their campaigns.

It is therefore important to note that the party in power will certainly enjoy certain advantages in fields of government resources, especially when it comes to the use of existing administrative structures and public media in this regard. What is more, it is important to note that such advantages should be checked and remitted to ensure that all interested parties in the political arena enjoy the same privileges.

As we have already mentioned, elections should be transparent and fair. For that reason, the process should be based on three cornerstones: integrity, independence, fairness, transparency, and competence. Let us focus on each individually.

When it comes to integrity, an election office with a high level of it limits the administrator’s opportunities to act with unchecked discretion. The opportunities cover decisions on where and when early voting or registration are performed, as well as what details are provided to a party or candidate. An election administrator is not allowed to use her or his power in order to express prejudiced opposition or support.

As for independence, election administrators must work effectively on raising campaign contributions. In the process of work, they have to make serious decisions that will have an impact on contributors. The key to independence is to avoid conflicts of interest and to treat every party equally by sticking to the law.

With regard to transparency, it is important to note that voters and candidates have the right to be informed on how the representatives of an elections office do their business. The process should be fair and transparent, whether they deal with the design of the opinion poll or securing the voting systems. What is more, all communication channels should be kept in secure servers that include around-the-clock records. The latter is a must since the data should be available for government requests at any point. Finally, when the polls are closed, the process of counting should be live-streamed whenever possible.

Competence is an essential component that every political party and candidate competing in an election should consider. There have been political elections with polling stations unavailable or not practical, too few ballots accessible, or poll workers with poor skills needed to handle the range of challenges on the day of elections. The best test of competence is the way the political party or candidate serve their electors, with due attention to the promises of their intense political campaign.

And finally, fairness is an integral part of successful elections. Fair and free elections are a solid basis for every healthy democracy. As a result, the new government authorities come from the will of citizens. But the reality is that in order to be 100% confident that their elections are fair and transparent, voters need more guarantees than just a well-planned and properly managed polling day. The main elements of fair and free elections also include a society that provides political parties with a room to work and run campaigns freely, encourages people to take part in the elections, as well as guarantees independent media that, in turn, makes the process safer and trustworthy.

To conclude, it is the responsibility of every voter to ensure that election is a success. Success can be only achieved when the election process is free from bare belly intimidation and violence. Hence, making elections transparent, free, fair, and credible is a must in any country on the globe.

As a final point, I would like to mention that being a Kenyan citizen, which is currently undergoing a process of a national election, I have a very special wish and a strong desire to see my country being a model of a place with free and fair elections. I would like every adult citizen of my homeland to be provided with a chance to take part in transparent and fair elections. And I truly hope that one day, Kenya will have a solid voting system developed through many years of practical implementation. We all have to continuously strive to advance our democratic practices in order to help ensure the protection of human rights.

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