When Votes Count: Yiaga Africa Watching the Vote Report on 2020 Edo and Ondo Governorship Elections.

Elections are central in the journey to etherealization of democratic governance astheny serve both the purpose of ensuring transition in government and empower the people to participate in the selection of their leaders. The centrality of an election in a democracy is fathomed as a non-negotiable pillar in a democracy which directly or indirectly impacts the quality of governance. While the frequency or the conduct of the election is not synonymous with the presence of democracy or democratic governance, it is an indication of the presence of a process enabling the free exercise of will for the people. The conduct of elections is as sacrosanct as the presence of governance in any system. However, with the outbreak of the pandemic the opportunities for the conduct of elections became limited with the introduction of public health measures to control the spread of the coronavirus. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a public health crisis in 2020 and created a tough reality for both developed and developing democracies. While nations battled with the public health, economic and human rights crisis caused by the pandemic, there was also the major challenge of conducting an election, which is largely dependent on human activities.