The Electoral Integrity Project's annual report ranks more than 200 elections including recent U.S, Russian, and Australian polls.
A comprehensive survey by more than 2,700 social scientists ranks the integrity of elections globally, identifying polls beset by gerrymandered boundaries, restrictions on the free press, ballot box fraud, violence, corruption and coercion, and the abuse of money in politics.
New evidence gathered by The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) at the University of Sydney and Harvard is published in a new report: Populist Threats to Electoral Integrity: The Year in Elections, 2016-2017.
The report compares 241 parliamentary and presidential elections in 158 countries around the world (excluding micro-states). All countries are ranked by the Perceptions of Electoral Integrity (PEI) Index. To go beyond the numbers, the report highlights illustrative case-studies in the U.S., Australia, Russia, Lithuania, the Philippines, Iceland, Gabon, the Gambia, Syria, and Iran. The report demonstrates several striking findings:
The U.S. ranks 55th worldwide in integrity, the worst performance of any Western democracy, due to problems including growing party polarisation over electoral procedures and rights. Tensions were exacerbated by President Trump’s repeated claims of massive voter fraud, before and after his entry into the White House.
The new report also focuses upon growing concern that populists heighten risks of electoral malpractices, identifying three main mechanisms:
“Problems of electoral integrity are widespread around the world, and some long-established democracies are not immune from major flaws,” said Professor Pippa Norris, EIP founding director.
“Populism heightens the risks through eroding public confidence in elections, actively violating international standards and electoral laws, and colluding with Russian allies seeking to undermine democracy.”
The Year in Elections report is drawn from a rolling survey, with responses received from 2,709 experts. The global survey monitors Perceptions of Electoral Integrity in 158 countries and 241 national parliamentary and presidential elections held between mid-2012 and 31 December 2016. Separate surveys are also run to compare states and provinces in several larger federal countries, such as Russia, Mexico, India, and the U.S.