The Permanent Electoral Authority (hereinafter PEA) is an autonomous administrative institution with legal personality and with general competence that ensures unitary application, in between two electoral periods, of the legal dispositions regarding the organization and the conduct of elections or consultations of national or local character. Besides logistical and legislative attributions, PEA guides, trains, supports and monitors the local authorities and their specific bodies as well as other categories of participants in the elections.
Local and parliamentary elections are to be held in Romania in 2012. Following the 2009 Euro-parliamentary and presidential elections as well as the 2010 and 2011 partial elections, PEA reports identified preventing and combating electoral fraud as an important challenge for the credibility of the upcoming electoral processes.
In preparation for the 2012 elections, several steps on creating a more solid institutional and legal framework have already been undertaken by PEA by drafting an Electoral Code and by using IT&C in elections in order to avoid illegal voting. However, besides the electoral infrastructure, a thorough training of the personnel involved in elections is of paramount importance for the safeguard of elections. In that respect, the Electoral Assistance Division (EAD) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) envisaged, at the request of PEA, the development of a regional training program on preventing and combating electoral fraud addressed to PEA staff and other EMB officials from the Black Sea region as well as the elaboration of a handbook on preventing and combating electoral fraud targeting electoral officials.
The rationale of the handbook on preventing and combating electoral fraud is to build up a body of knowledge on best practices and key entry points for preventing and combating electoral fraud. It also aims to increase the awareness of all participants in elections regarding electoral fraud and to facilitate their access to key information on tools and mechanisms for detecting, assessing, preventing and combating electoral fraud.