Fairness beyond the ballot: A comparative analysis of failures of electoral integrity, perceptions of electoral fairness, and attitudes towards democracy across 18 countries

Ricardo González, Bernardo Mackenna, Andrés Scherman, Alfredo Joignant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trust in the integrity of the electoral process is essential for a functioning democracy. However, doubts about the legitimacy of electoral processes have increased in established and emerging democracies. We analyzed electoral integrity perceptions and related variables across 26 elections and 18 countries using post-election surveys conducted between 2004 and 2021 as part of the Comparative National Elections Project. We found that citizens' experiences of electoral integrity failures, such as bribery and intimidation, are crucial in shaping their perceptions of electoral integrity. Additionally, we found that autonomous electoral offices have little effect on citizens’ perceptions of integrity and freedom in the electoral process. Finally, electoral integrity perceptions significantly impact attitudes towards democracy. Our results emphasize the importance of well-functioning electoral processes and institutions in upholding the legitimacy of democracies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102740
JournalElectoral Studies
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Comparative research
  • Democracy
  • Electoral fairness
  • Electoral integrity
  • Public opinion
  • Survey research

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