Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO)

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ACEEEO Newsletter - June 2020

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1. Third Online Symposium on Elections in Times of Epidemic

2 July 2020

The ACEEEO organizes the Third Online Symposium on Elections in Times of Epidemic on 2 July 2020, 14.00 (CET).

Since the COVID-19 pandemic went worldwide, the ACEEEO community has been heavily affected by the virus. Certain countries decided to postpone elections, others introduced special measures in the conduct of elections. In a unique situation like this, the constant dialogue among election officials is more important than ever. Therefore, ACEEEO facilitated meaningful discussion by having organized two online symposiums that dealt with the topic from a general angle on the one side, and from a country specific perspective from the other side, tackling the experiences from Poland, South Korea, the U.S., Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine.

We are gladly announcing our Third Online Symposium on Elections in Times of Epidemic, a closing event before the Summer reaches us with all its felicity. The Symposium gives an opportunity to have a follow-up on the very recent Polish and Serbian elections, which have been discussed at the earlier events. Moreover, as an outlook to the theme of our annual conference, communications in the pandemic will be also discussed. Furthermore, to broaden our perspective, we step out of Europe to examine the Mexican situation.

Hereby, the ACEEEO invites all the interested to attend the Online Symposium on 2 July 2020, 14.00 (CET). The Online Symposium is freely accessible, however, prior registration is needed. If you wish to participate, please send an e-mail to



14.00 – 14.10  Greetings from Zsolt Szolnoki, Secretary General, ACEEEO

14.10 – 14.20 – Follow-up on the Polish elections taking place 28 June 2020


Krzysztof Lorentz, Head of the Department, National Electoral Office of Poland (TBC)

14.20 – 14.30 – Follow-up on the Serbian elections taking place 21 June 2020


Vladimir Dimitrijević, President,The Republic Electoral Commission of Serbia (TBC)

14.40 – 15.00 – Outlook to our conference theme: Communications in times of epidemic


Ingrid Bicu, National Expert at International IDEA

15.00 – 15.20 – Stepping out of Europe – the Mexican experience


Manuel Carrillo Poblano, Head of the International Affairs Unit, National Electoral Institute of Mexico (INE)

15.20 – 15.30 – Debate and closing remarks

Read the updated ACEEEO recommendations on 'Elections in the ACEEEO region in times of Covid-19'.


2. Recent events in the ACEEEO

Second Online Symposium on ‘Elections in Times of Epidemic’

4 June 2020

ACEEEO held an online symposium on elections for the second time on 4 June 2020. The focus, again, was on the effects of the COVID-19 virus on elections. The topic of 'The constitutional and legal background of postponing elections' was discussed by the active participation of more than 50 practitioners and scholars from all over the world. The virtual meeting focused on five case studies (Croatia, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, and the U.S.) and discussed the legal and practical approach to holding or postponing elections under the threat of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Symposium was opened by Zsolt Szolnoki (Secretary General, ACEEEO), who emphasized that the first meeting was successful; a unique debate had been initiated.

The first speaker, Krzysztof Lorentz (Head of the Department, National Electoral Office of Poland) gave an update on the Polish situation that was in the focus of the first Symposium as well. Mr. Lorentz described the exact timeline starting from 5 May, outlining the procedure involving many actors that eventually led to a political agreement that elections were going to be held 10 May with closed polling stations. Mr. Lorentz emphasized that beside the financial costs, the highest costs of the situation was of social and electoral nature.

The second speaker, Damir Kontrec (Vice-president, State Electoral Commission of the Republic of Croatia) gave insights to the Croatian experience. In Croatia two early local elections were postponed after an accelerated amendment procedure to the electoral legislation had taken place.

The third intervention focused on Serbia. Branko Marinkovic (Deputy Secretary, The Republic Electoral Commission of Serbia) summarized the key experiences starting from 4 March. Elections were supposed to held on 26 April, however, as the virus appeared in March, state of emergency were declared, and the elections were postponed – a decision made via decree but later confirmed by the National Assembly. In 10 May the President of the Republic set a new date for the elections, 21 June.

The fourth speaker, Vitalii Plukar (Deputy Chairman, Central Election Commission of Ukraine) presented on the situation in Ukraine. Mr. Pulkar emphasized that the spread of COVID 19 inevitably affected elections, in Ukraine as well, where election was held 15 March in a single-mandate constituency. The next local elections are going to be held 25 October 2020, and this event needs to be adjusted to the possibility of a second wave. This requires amendments to the electoral legislation.

The fifth country to focus on was the United States. The next speaker, Paul Pate (President, National Association of Secretaries of State), informed the publicum that thorough preparations were taking place in the U.S. that involve the cooperation of members of the nationally decentralized electoral administration. A new campaign called ‘Trusted Info 2020’ is launched that urges voters to acquire information directly from the authorities. Mac Warner (Secretary of State, West Virginia) joined the conversation to share his experiences. He emphasized the importance of dialogue, especially within the multi-layered electoral administration and of the necessity of following the rule of law. Mr. Warner noted that foreign best practices were of great help, especially from Estonia. Richard W. Soudriette (Honorary Member, ACEEEO, former president, IFES) emphasized the importance that all candidates pledge to recognize the results of the elections, a condition that is unusual and would be unnecessary in normal circumstances. EMBs under great pressure, but so far they did a great job, according to Mr. Soudriette. His biggest concern is that after the elections in November the whole process will be called into question. The main task therefore is to mitigate concerns regarding the validity of elections.

The Symposium was concluded by János Mécs (Project Manager, ACEEEO). Mr. Mécs gave an overview of the first and the second symposium, emphasizing that while there is no single good answer to the question of holding or postponing, certain good and bad practices are at hand.

For further information please visit:


3. Elections in the region




Type of election

28 June

(postponed from 10 May)



5 July Croatia Presidential

15 July

(postponed from 12 April)

North Macedonia

Early Parliamentary

30 August



30 August



4 October



4 October

Bosnia and Herzegovina





11 and 25 October



1 November 2020



23 December



December 2020