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An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of electioneering process of any country. The formal names of election commissions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and may be styled an electoral commission,[1] a central[2] or state election commission,[3] or an election board,[4] an electoral council[5] or an electoral court.[6] Election commissions can be independent, mixed, judicial or executive. They may also be responsible for electoral boundary delimitation. In federations there may be a separate body for each subnational government. An election commission has a duty to ensure elections are conducted in an orderly manner[according to whom?].

Electoral models

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, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, 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.

In the United States, elections for federal, state, and local offices are run by the executive branch of each state government.[7]

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

Election commissions in Africa

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As of 2021, 53 out of 55 African nations (save for Eritrea and Somalia, which do not hold elections) use or have used election commissions to organize and supervise their elections. First introduced in the Sudan in 1957, election commissions were created across the continent especially after many African nations introduced a system of multi-party democracy in the early 1990s.[17]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Australian Electoral Commission". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  2. ^ Alvarez-Rivera, Manuel. "Elections to the Latvian Saeima (Parliament)". Election Resources on the Internet. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Home". SC Votes - South Carolina Election Commission. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  4. ^ a b "Oklahoma State Election Board". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "YSK Web Portal". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  6. ^ a b "Superior Electoral Court, Brazil (TSE)". Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "About Us". Florida Division of Elections. Florida Department of State. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Electoral Commission of Malta Welcome to the portal of the Electoral Commission of Malta". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  9. ^ "Report of Central Election Committee in DPRK Issued". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  10. ^ "State of Hawaii Office of Elections". Elections Commission. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  11. ^ "Board of Elections". Illinois State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2019-06-21. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  12. ^ "Maryland State Board of Elections". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  13. ^ "Board of Elections". New York State Board of Elections. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  14. ^ "Home Page | NCSBE". North Carolina State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  15. ^ "Virginia Department of Elections - Home". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  16. ^ "Wisconsin Elections Commission". 2022-04-04. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  17. ^ Marzin, Régis (2021). Les commissions électorales et le retour du multipartisme entre 1990 et 1994 en Afrique, Historique des commissions électorales de 1957 à 2021 (in French).