Reading List – 26th January 2021

Uzbekistan elections could be moved to autumn in proposed amendment

The Tashkent Times reports that the Uzbekistan Presidential elections due in December could be moved to October. The order has come from President Mirziyoyev who is due to face the voters.

The paper gives no reasoning for the move, but the winter weather may be a key factor in the proposal.

UPDATE: One other suggestion being touted is that the country is keen to have international observers in the country for the elections and a date that clashes with (Western/Catholic) Christmas makes this less easy to achieve.

India proposes relaxation of polling station link

The Indian Election Commission is proposing a raft of changes to election law to make it easier for electors to cast their vote. On National Electors Day (which seems like a good idea to copy), EC chief Sunil Arora has suggested that voters should be enabled to cast their vote from any polling station. In addition, the Commission is considering remote voting and extending postal voting to overseas electors.

A number of countries allow voters to move their registration to a polling station that will be convenient for them on Election Day. However the ability to simply turn up at any polling place without forewarning is more complex and will rely on a real-time updated electoral register. If India can manage this then it would be a significant advance. One potential challenge is that if a single polling place becomes unexpectedly very popular then ballot paper supply could be an concern. Issuing massive numbers of spare ballots ‘just in case’ also raises security concerns.