Balancing health protection and democratic elections: North Macedonia during COVID-19

COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes in everyday life, but also to the electoral process. Some adaptations of the electoral process were clearly needed in order to preserve public health from the virus.
Even in pandemic, the electoral process must be voter-friendly, accessible and inclusive. Even in such circumstances, the voters must not be discouraged from voting because they see the vote as unnecessary risk. Balancing between health protection and democratic elections also posed a challenge to the electoral campaign and influenced the manner of campaigning, which increased the spending of candidates.
This paper will analyze the effect of Covid-19 on the parliamentary elections in North Macedonia in 2020, focusing on the changes on the electoral rules and the electoral campaigning because of COVID-19, as well as the influence of COVID-19 on the turnout of voters.