Voter and civic education are required in every election to guarantee that all constituents—men and women alike—understand their rights, their political system, the competitions on which they are being asked to vote, and how and where to vote. To have a successful and democratic election, voters must understand the


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Overview

Why should voters be educated?

Voter and civic education are required in every election to guarantee that all constituents—men and women alike—understand their rights, their political system, the competitions on which they are being asked to vote, and how and where to vote. To have a successful and democratic election, voters must understand their rights and obligations, as well as be sufficiently competent and well informed to cast legally valid votes and participate actively in the voting process. Voter and civic education are even more important in post-conflict nations, since political conditions can be turbulent and elections can have far-reaching consequences for the country’s future.

Voter education is often used to define the transmission of information, resources, and programs meant to enlighten voters about the nuances and mechanics of a particular election’s voting process. Voter education include providing information on who is qualified to vote, where and how to register, how electors may check voter lists to confirm their inclusion, what types of elections are held, where, when, and how to vote, who the candidates are, and how to make complaints.

Civic education, as a wider term, seeks to impart knowledge about a country’s political structure and background. Civic education could include information on the government system, the nature and powers of the offices to be filled in an election, the major economic, social, and political issues confronting the country, the value of democracy, equal rights for men and women, and the significance of peace and national reconciliation.

Voter and civic education can be crucial in increasing women’s election participation, especially in post-conflict nations where women have traditionally played a passive role in the political process. Voter registration and civic education should so be available to both men and women. The information presented should be gender-sensitive and tailored to the audience.

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