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Election Administration and the 2022 Elections

While elections are considered essential to democracy, electoral administration has only recently gained attention in the field of political science. Electoral processes affect electoral outcomes (Calimbahin, 2010); thus, electoral administration could affect democratic foundations, especially in new and developing democracies. Studies have shown that electoral management bodies (EMBs) face autonomy and capacity issues (Lopez-Pintor, 2000; Calimbahin, 2010; Calimbahin, 2021; Erben, Thakur, Jenness,& Smith, 2004; Tancangco, 1997). With global democratic decline as a continuing phenomenon, careful monitoring of electoral management bodies (EMBs) and electoral administration, in general, is important. This policy brief is based on an evaluation of the performance of COMELEC in the 2022 Philippine Specifically, it asks: How did the COMELEC shape the administration of the 2022 election? How did the Commission provide authority as an election management body in order to keep the integrity of the electoral process? And what role did it play to uphold liberal democracy? Consistent with findings from previous elections, results exposed the capacity and autonomy weaknesses of COMELEC as an electoral management body. This was made evident by issues surrounding appointments, deployment of personnel, and performance of electoral management tasks during the election cycle. The problems identified by the study have shown how previous reforms in the commission have failed to address its capacity issues and while there have been improvements, it remains vulnerable to autonomy issues. More substantive reforms are needed including the decoupling of the administration and adjudication functions of the commission and updating of the 1985 Omnibus Election Code (Calimbahin, 2022). Any reform is an uphill battle and will require major and sustained efforts, undertaking such a task is crucial given how valuable effective and competent EMBs can be in contributing to a freer and fairer political environment. 


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