Election commission

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] 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.

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

  • Afghanistan:
    • Independent Election Commission (defunct since 2021)
    • Election Complaints Commission (defunct since 2021)
  • Albania: Central Election Commission
  • Argentina:
    • Dirección Nacional Electoral
    • Cámara Nacional Electoral
  • Australia: Australian Electoral Commission[1]
    • 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
  • Bolivia:
    • Plurinational Electoral Organ (since 2010)
    • National Electoral Court (defunct since 2010)
  • Brazil: Superior Electoral Court[6]
    • Regional Electoral Courts
  • Cambodia: National Election Committee
  • Canada: Elections Canada
  • China (excl. Hong Kong and Macau): Election Committees for Local People's Congress elections only
  • Colombia: National Electoral Council
  • Costa Rica: Supreme Electoral Court
  • Cuba: Central State Administration and Local Government National Election Commission[8]
  • Cyprus: Central Elections Office
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Independent National Electoral Commission
  • Egypt: High Elections Committee
  • Ethiopia: National Election Board
  • Fiji: Electoral Commission
  • France: Constitutional Council
  • Ghana: Electoral Commission
  • Guyana: Elections Commission
  • Haiti: Provisional Electoral Council
  • Hong Kong: Electoral Affairs Commission
  • Iceland: National Electoral Commission
  • India: Election Commission
  • Indonesia: General Elections Commission
  • Iran: Guardian Council
  • Iraq: Independent High Electoral Commission
  • Israel: Central Elections Committee
  • Italy: Central Directorate for Electoral Services
  • Japan: Central Election Management Council
  • Jordan: Independent Election Commission
  • Kazakhstan: Central Election Commission
  • Kenya:
  • Kosovo: Central Election Commission (Kosovo)
  • Lao: National Election Committee (Lao)
  • Liberia: National Elections Commission
  • Libya: High National Election Commission
  • Macau: Electoral Affairs Commission (Macau)
  • Malaysia: Election Commission
  • Mexico:
  • 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
  • North Korea: Central Election Committee (North Korea)[9]
  • Northern Cyprus: High Electoral Board
  • Norway: Norwegian Directorate of Elections
  • Pakistan: Election Commission
  • Palestine: Central Elections Commission
  • Philippines: Commission on Elections
    • Once a winner is proclaimed, only these tribunals can rule on election matters:
      • Presidential Electoral Tribunal (entirely composed of the Supreme Court)
      • Senate Electoral Tribunal
      • House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal
      • Regional Trial Courts for local officials
  • Poland: National Electoral Commission
  • Portugal: National Elections Commission
  • Puerto Rico: State Elections Commission
  • Russia: Central Election Commission
  • Singapore: Elections Department
  • Somaliland: National Electoral Commission
  • South Africa: Independent Electoral Commission
  • South Korea: National Election Commission
  • Spain: Junta Electoral Central
  • Sri Lanka: Election Commission of Sri Lanka
  • Sweden: Election Authority
  • Taiwan (Republic of China): Central Election Commission
  • Tanzania : National Electoral Commission
  • Thailand: Election Commission
  • Tunisia: Independent High Authority for Elections
  • Turkey: Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey[5]
  • Ukraine: Central Election Commission
  • United Kingdom: Electoral Commission
  • United States:
  • Uruguay: Electoral Court
  • Venezuela: National Electoral Council
  • Vietnam: National Election Council (Vietnam)
  • Zimbabwe: Electoral Commission

Election commissions in Africa

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.[18]

See also

  • 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
  • Court of Disputed Returns


  1. "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. "SC State Election Commission: About Us". SCVotes. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  4. "Oklahoma State Election Board". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  5. "T.C. Yüksek Seçim Kurulu" [Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey]. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  6. "Superior Electoral Court, Brazil (TSE)". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  7. "About Us". Florida Division of Elections. Florida Department of State. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  8. "Cuba Election Centre". Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  9. "Newstream" 중앙선거위원회 보도 [Report of the Central Election Committee] (in Korean). Korean Central News Agency. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  10. "Florida Elections Commission". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  11. "Office of Elections: Elections Commission: About Us". State of Hawaii. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  12. "Illinois State Board of Elections". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  13. "Maryland, The State Board of Elections". Maryland.org: State of Maryland. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  14. "New York State, Board of Elections". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  15. "North Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  16. "Commonwealth of Virginia: Department of Elections: State Board of Elections". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  17. "Wisconsin Elections Commission". Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  18. 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).
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