The risks of flawed and failed elections worldwide
Electoral Integrity Project
University of Sydney and Harvard University
Feb. 26, 2014

Posted by
March 20, 2014

In many countries, polling day ends with disputes about ballot-box fraud, corruption, and flawed registers. Which claims are accurate? And which are false complaints from sore losers?

New evidence gathered by the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) has just been released in an annual report which compares the risks of flawed and failed elections, and how far countries around the world meet international standards. The EIP is an independent research project based at the University of Sydney and Harvard University, under the direction of Professor Pippa Norris.

“The spread of elections worldwide during recent decades has been accompanied by widespread concern about their quality,” Pippa Norris commented, “Too often elections are deeply flawed, or even failing to meet international standards.”

“This study is the first to gather reliable evidence from experts to pinpoint where contests are problematic- such as in Belarus, Djibouti, and Zimbabwe – and also to celebrate where they succeed, such as in Norway, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and South Korea.”

This annual report evaluates all national parliamentary and presidential contests occurring in 66 countries worldwide holding 73 election from 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2013 (excluding smaller states with a population below 100,000), from Albania to Zimbabwe. Data is derived from a global survey of 855 election experts. Immediately after each contest, the survey asks domestic and international experts to monitor the quality based on 49 indicators.  These responses are then clustered into eleven stages occurring during the electoral cycle and summed to construct an overall 100-point expert Perception of Electoral Integrity (PEI) index and ranking.

Several major new findings emerge from the EIP report.

Subsequent annual reports will cover national elections every year, to broaden the comparison worldwide.
Further information is available at 
Contacts: Professor Pippa Norris, EIP Director,, +64 67 163 051; Dr Richard Frank, Project Manager,; Dr Ferran Martínez i Coma, Research Associate,, +612 9351 2147
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Division of Humanities and Social Sciences
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