Electoral Studies in Compared International Perspective

02 Sep 2016

Globalization has manifested in dynamics and movements that bridge regions and continents and are hence truly global in nature. Today, more people than ever before, live in countries other than their country of origin. The number of international migrants  — persons living in a country other than where they were born — reached 244 million in 2015 for the world as a whole, an increase of 71 million, or 41 per cent, compared to 2000.

Against the background of these high numbers, the questions how the political and civil rights of migrants can be assured and strengthened gains more and more relevance. Out-of-country voting (OCV) is considered a key element of political participation from abroad, yet regulations and legal framework vary drastically from country to country. From 1990 to 2014, the number of Latin American countries with regulations and resources allowing their citizens to cast votes outside their territories rose from 3 to 15, and this study aims to identify and analyse some of the factors that affect voting from abroad today.

The study provides a comparative overview of both the fundamental features of the regulations adopted by the 15 countries in the region, and of the systems that have been used to implement them. In the first part, the nature, span and implications of the concepts and discourse that underlie the subject are considered. The second part focuses on a more rigorous, comparative assessment of models and experiences across the region.  To that end, the legal rules, their implementation, as well as some facts and figures associated with various key variables of voting from abroad, are described and contrasted.


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