Why the mistrust? How elite and popular perceptions of electoral integrity diverge in Australia

POP politics Aus

Many commentators lamented the ‘really long, really boring’ election campaign leading up to the Australian federal election of 2 July 2016. But despite complaints, the contest transformed into a nail-biting affair. The closeness of the race and the delay of the final results by four weeks conjured up nightmares of a hung parliament and sowed confusion about the procedures.

voting_grom

Tight election results and delayed tabulation of the vote count are two factors that often simultaneously undermine electoral integrity and erode popular trust in the fairness of the process.  In Gabon, for instance, the 2016 presidential election returned the long-time incumbent President Ondimba with a wafer-thin margin of under 6000 ballots. The slim margin of victory prompted the opposition to dispute the results, leading to two days of protests and deadly violence in the country. And in the 2014 Afghan election, a delay in results was only the first…

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