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Newsroom Press release

Open Society Backs Guidelines on Election Integrity during COVID-19

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect and in some cases disrupt elections around the world, the Open Society Foundations has endorsed a set of guidelines to help civil society groups seeking to preserve election integrity during the pandemic.

The Guidance for Civil Society and its Supporters on Elections with Integrity during COVID outlines critical measures to address voter safety and ensure the fullest possible participation in voting. It also highlights the importance of combatting misinformation and hate speech, in particular online.

The short, globally-relevant guidelines are intended to provide a baseline menu that civil society groups can adapt as best suits their local context. They include a useful selection of analysis, research, and case studies compiled and endorsed by leading supporters of election integrity globally.

Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations, said: “The attacks we have seen on election integrity in the U.S., in particular on the integrity of the result and on the features of voting that are necessary during COVID-19, have been shocking and unacceptable to say the least. Across the world, brave civil society groups are facing similar challenges, as they work to ensure that this pandemic does not damage people’s right to vote. We hope this global guidance can serve as a tool for civil society and its supporters to stand shoulder to shoulder to preserve and protect democratic institutions.”

The advisory document is endorsed by the Open Society Foundations, the Kofi Annan Foundation, the National Democratic Institute, the Election Observation Research Network, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

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