The Legal and Procedural Guarantees of the Voting Process as in the International Best Practices and its Application in the Jordanian Legislation
Dr. Ali Mohammad Aldabbas
Assistant Professor of Public Law
Faculty of Law, University of Petra, Jordan
This study has dealt with the legal guarantees of the voting process as stated in the Election Law no. 6 of the year 2016 issued by the Jordanian House of Representatives, and with the executive instructions issued later, and the ability to come up with sound procedures for the voting process to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections. The importance of this study stems from the significance of the voting process, as it does constitute the fruit of the preparatory measures taken by the electoral administration to enable voters to choose the candidates who are believed to be most capable of representing them in the parliament. Such a process does also constitute the main gate to the final stage of the electoral process which takes place through sorting voting papers and the final announcement of results. The study also aimed to determine the extent to which the legislation governing the voting process in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan adheres to the main principles that must be provided by the legislation governing the voting process as determined by the best practices worldwide in this regard.
The study concluded that the Jordanian legislator has adhered to some of these principles, and the author has suggested several amendments and additions to the legislation in a way that enhances the freedom and integrity of the electoral process. The amendments include changing the conditions that must be available in the members of the voting committee to include, in addition to government employees, independent representatives of the civil society organizations and those working in the private sector. In addition to this, voting instructions should include the basic conditions that must be available in the basic tools of the voting process, especially the conditions that must be met in the ballot box, the ballot sheet, in electoral isolation, and the development of provisions related to appealing the voting procedures through giving the Board of Commissioners of the Independent Election Commission a greater role to verify the soundness of the voting committee’s decision and to find ways for a judicial challenge to the voting procedures before reaching the stage of judicial appeal of the validity of the membership of the elected members.
Keywords: voting procedures, free and fair elections, election law, secrecy of voting, electoral administration.