Information and communication technologies in elections: Council of Europe adopts new guidelines

Committee of Ministers Strasbourg 10 February 2022
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Information and communication technologies in elections: Council of Europe adopts new guidelines

The Committee of Ministers has adopted a set of guidelines on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the electoral process which aim at ensuring the integrity of the electoral process and therefore enhancing citizens’ trust in democracy. Prepared by the European Committee on Democratic Governance (CDDG), the guidelines propose a set of requirements and safeguards to be introduced in the legislation and practices of Council of Europe member states when using ICT in the different stages of the electoral process. The guidelines cover the use of ICT solutions by, or on behalf of the relevant electoral authorities, at all stages of the electoral process, except e-voting and e-counting which are covered by the Recommendation (2017)5 on standards for e-voting.

The guidelines adopt a security by design approach and encourage competent authorities to find a balance between requirements such as usability, accessibility, transparency, secrecy or privacy. Free and fair elections and referendums are one of the cornerstones of democracy. The integrity of the electoral process is fundamental to maintaining public trust in the legitimacy of democratic institutions. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) play an increasing role in all spheres of life, including in election administration.

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