FP Virtual Dialogue: Restoring Trust in Election Results

September 28, 2022

What are the factors that influence people’s confidence in the legitimacy of an electoral process and outcome?

Lack of trust is becoming a defining element of elections in countries around the world. From rejecting candidates deemed untrustworthy to refusing to accept electoral outcomes, this lack of trust manifests in a range of ways—all of which are damaging to both democratic institutions and social cohesion. Whether spurred by past performances, historical divisions, grievances between factions, or deliberately fueled by political actors seeking to capitalize on instability, once distrust takes root, even the most technically sound electoral process can be overshadowed. Public trust is hard won, easily lost, and very difficult to restore.  

Public perceptions are the new electoral battleground, magnified by social media, a convoluted and compromised information landscape, and seemingly endless election cycles in many societies. While every election and electoral system has its flaws, electoral integrity must be strengthened to legitimately reflect the will of the voters and for election results to be accepted by the electorate. Trust does not necessarily stem from perfection, but from a belief in the legitimacy of a process and its outcomes, as well as confidence that the people involved are performing their duties in accordance with the law. 

Against this backdrop, Foreign Policy, in partnership with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), will convene a timely conversation with leaders from government, media, and civil society to discuss how to restore trust in elections and democratic institutions around the world.

Join the conversation with #TrustedResults.

In partnership with

Christopher Krebs
Former Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) & Founding Partner, Krebs Stamos Group
Christopher Krebs is Founding Partner of the Krebs Stamos Group and Chair of the Commission on Information Disorder at the Aspen Institute. He previously served as th...
CK 2022 headshot
CK 2022 headshot
Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld
Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict and Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld advises governments, philanthropists, and activists on how democracies make major social change. As a sen...
Kleinfeld Headshot book
Kleinfeld Headshot book
Dr. Cassandra Emmons
Democracy Data Analyst, IFES
Dr. Cassandra Emmons is the Democracy Data Analyst at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). In this role, she is responsible for developing IFES’ data ana...
Chad Vickery
Vice President, Global Strategy and Technical Leadership, IFES
Chad Vickery, vice president of global strategy and technical leadership at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), has extensive legal and international ele...
Chad Vickery 600x600
Chad Vickery 600x600
Mvemba Phezo Dizolele
Senior Fellow and Director of the Africa Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Mvemba Phezo Dizolele is a senior fellow and director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is also a l...
Ravi Agrawal
Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Policy
Ravi Agrawal is the editor in chief of Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, Agrawal worked at CNN for more than a decade, including his most recent position as the network’s New...

For more information, contact Susan Sadigova, Vice President of Strategic Development.