Electoral Commission | Meaning, Features, Functions

Electoral Commission: Definition, Features, And Functions An electoral commission is an autonomous institution entrusted with the organization and execution of elections within a political system. It operates as an impartial body with the primary responsibility of overseeing the electoral processes in a country.   Key Features of Electoral Commission: Organizing and Conducting Elections: The commission […]

Electoral Commission: Definition, Features, And Functions

An electoral commission is an autonomous institution entrusted with the organization and execution of elections within a political system. It operates as an impartial body with the primary responsibility of overseeing the electoral processes in a country.

 

Key Features of Electoral Commission:

  1. Organizing and Conducting Elections: The commission exclusively manages the planning and execution of all electoral events within the political system.
  2. Ensuring Free and Fair Elections: The commission is mandated to guarantee the fairness and freedom of elections conducted in the country.
  3. Announcement of Election Results: By legal authority, the commission is the sole entity permitted to announce election results.
  4. Independent Body: The commission functions as an independent and impartial electoral body.
  5. Headed by a Chairman: Oversight and leadership of the commission are vested in the Chairman, with additional members aiding in its operations.
  6. Fixed Tenure of Office: The composition of the electoral commission adheres to a specified tenure of office.
  7. Resident Commissioner: Each state within the federation has a resident commissioner representing the commission at the state level.
  8. Constitutionally Guided: The actions of the commission are consistently governed by constitutional provisions and legal frameworks.
  9. Honesty and Fair Play: The commission is expected to demonstrate integrity and fairness, particularly in decision-making related to election conduct.
  10. Neutral Body: The commission is required to maintain a neutral stance and avoid partisanship in its outlook.

 

Functions of the Electoral Commission:

  1. Registration of Political Parties: The commission registers political parties in accordance with established rules and regulations.
  2. Registration of Voters: Eligible voters are registered by the commission as part of its duties.
  3. Provision of Electoral Materials: The commission ensures the availability of essential electoral materials, such as ballot votes and polling booths, during elections.
  4. Free and Fair Elections: A core function of the electoral commission is to organize and execute credible, free, and fair elections in the country.
  5. Delimitation (Division) of the Country: The commission divides the country into constituencies or electoral districts for the efficient conduct of elections.
  6. Appointment and Training: The commission appoints electoral officers and provides training for ad-hoc staff, presiding officers, clerks, and polling orderlies.
  7. Counting of Votes: The commission is responsible for the accurate counting of votes and the subsequent release of election results.
  8. Financial Grants to Parties: Part of the commission’s role involves providing financial grants to political parties to support their campaigns and election-related activities.
  9. Enlightenment: The commission educates the electorate on crucial issues related to elections.
  10. Types of Voting: The commission informs voters about the various voting systems adopted in elections, whether through secret or open (public) vote systems.
  11. Screening of Candidates: Candidates for election undergo thorough screening, and their eligibility is confirmed before elections take place.
  12. Security at Polling Stations: The commission ensures adequate security measures at polling stations to safeguard the lives and properties of both commission staff and voters, preventing unwarranted attacks during elections.

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