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Civic and Voter Education

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Presentation on theme: "Civic and Voter Education"— Presentation transcript:

1 Civic and Voter Education
Vania Anguelova – Independent Electoral Consultant London, November 28th 2011

2 Civic and Voter Education
Guiding International Principles of Civic and Voter Education Importance of Civic and Voter Education Is Voter Education Necessary?

3 Guiding Principles for Civic and Voter Education
International Principles of the civic and voter educational mandate can be established by: legislation; public mission statements; comparative national practices and or established by countries in international forums and treaties.

4 Guiding Principles of Civic and Voter Education
“Funding and administration should be provided for objective, non partisan voter education and information campaigns. Such education is critical for populations with little or no experience with democratic elections. The public shall be well informed as to where, when and how to vote, as well as why voting is important…..” “…Voter education campaigns should extend throughout the territory of the country, including to rural and outlying areas.” United Nations Centre for Human Rights, Human Rights and Elections – A Handbook of the Legal, Technical and Human Rights Aspects of Elections

5 Guiding Principles of Civic and Voter Education
“Appropriate and non partisan public education programmes, though not always the responsibility of electoral body, are a essential feature both in countries where a “voting culture” is being developed as well as in well established democracies. As such they should be adequately funded and professionally organized. Where practicable, national election practices can be built into school election procedures and election education centers can be established in appropriate locations.” Good Commonwealth Electoral Practices, Commonwealth Secretariat, 1997

6 Why Civic and Voter Education are important?
Enables voters to have an informed decision, make sure people understand their rights, the political system and the contest they are being asked to decide, and how and where to vote; Political Understanding and Conflict Prevention; Increase participation and remove apathy; Decreases invalid ballots.

7 Voter Education Knowledge
The knowledge may: reduce the cost of any particular election; increase the turnout; reduce tension and intolerance; increase the likelihood that the election results will be accepted.

8 Voter Information Aims to provide basic factual information to facilitate voting process: It is used to describe the dissemination of information, date, time and place to vote; Specific mechanisms of the voting process; Who is eligible to vote; Where and how to register; How potential voters can check the voter lists to make sure they are included;

9 Voter Education Voter Education includes programmes created to address voters motivation and preparedness to participate fully in elections; Address more complex types of information about the electoral process; Gives information about the responsibility and the rights of voters, the relationship between elections and democracy.

10 Civic Education Is a broader concept and can and should include voter education; It emphasizes roles and responsibilities of citizens, governments, political and special interest groups and mass media; Raises citizens awareness and participation in all aspects of the democratic society; It is a continual long-term process and is included in educational curricula or specific programmes;

11 Who is responsible for organizing civic and voter education
Governments and EMBs; Contestants and CSOs; Universities and Schools; State Agencies.

12 Who conducts information campaigns for national elections (informing where, when and how to register and/or vote)? ACE Comparative Data

13 Map Frequency of voter education programs at the national level, how often are voter education programs conducted? ACE Comparative Data

14 National civic education is there a national civic education campaign (rights and responsibilities of citizens)? ACE Comparative Data

15 Issues on Voter and Civic Education Considered by EOMs (1)
Are the voters aware of the elections and familiar with registration and voting procedures? Is voter education provided in impartial manner? Is civic education provided and if so is it conducted in impartial manner? How civil society is involved in voter education? Is the civil society facilitated by EMB?

16 Issues on Voter and Civic Education Considered by EOMs (2)
Is voter education effective, especially to the groups or individuals who may face exclusion or restriction from political process? What methods are used to reach non-literate part of the population? Voter education in minority languages conducted? Has any voter education being inappropriate?

17 Civic Education and Voters Turnout
Without public involvement in the process, democracy lacks legitimacy and guiding force; Increased efforts made to reverse the voters turnout decline;

18 Factors for the Voter’s Turnout Variations
Contextual factors determine the way the electoral event is viewed by the voters: Perception of the effectiveness of political competition; The competitiveness and silence of the electoral event; The nature of the party system; Campaign spending; - Voting traditions in different communities;

19 Factors for the Voter’s Turnout Variations
Strategic voting; Length and time between the elections; The nature of the election event itself.

20 Factors for the Voter’s Turnout Variations
Systemic considerations Electoral system choice; Compulsory versus voluntary voting; Single versus multiple polling days; Elections taking place on a working or a rest day;

21 Factors for the Voter’s Turnout Variations
Availability of alternative voting procedures; Physical access to the polls; - The use of new technologies.

22 Voting Behavior and Political Participation
Young people and political participation and the habit of voting; Concept of Political Efficacy and voting behavior.

23 Campaigns to encourage and maximize the voters turnout
Initiatives made by Governments, EMBs, citizens' groups and NGOs to encourage turnout. Information campaign Advertising campaigns; Grass-roots movements; School mock elections and other specific purpose programmes; Entertainment – campaigns; Inducements; Examples of campaigns to encourage and maximize the voters turnout

24 Thank you!

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