An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of electioneering process of any country. The formal names of election commissions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and may be styled an electoral commission, a central or state election commission, an election board, an electoral council or an electoral court. Election commissions can be independent, mixed, judicial or executive. They may also be responsible for electoral boundary delimitation. In federations there may be a separate body for each subnational government. An election commission has a duty to ensure elections are conducted in an orderly manner[according to whom?].
In the independent model the election commission is independent of the executive and manages its own budget. Countries with an independent election commission include Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United Kingdom. In some of these countries the independence of the election commission is constitutionally guaranteed e.g. section 190 of the Constitution of South Africa.
In the branch model the election commission is often called an electoral branch, and is usually a constitutionally-recognized separate branch of government, with its members appointed by either the executive or the legislative branch. Countries with an electoral branch include Bolivia, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
In the mixed-model there is an independent board to determine policy, but implementation is usually a matter for an executive department with varying degrees of supervision by the independent board. Countries with such a model include Cameroon, France, Germany, Japan, Senegal and Spain.
In the executive model the election commission is directed by a cabinet minister as part of the executive branch of government, and may include local government authorities acting as agents of the central body. Countries with this model include Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia. In the United States, elections for federal, state, and local offices are run by the executive branch of each state government - see, for example, the Division of Elections of the Florida Department of State.
In the judicial model the election commission is closely supervised by and ultimately responsible to a special "electoral court". Countries with such a model include Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
As of 2021, 53 out of 55 African nations (save for Eritrea and Somalia, which do not hold elections) use or have used election commissions to organize and supervise their elections. First introduced in the Sudan in 1957, election commissions were created across the continent especially after many African nations introduced a system of multi-party democracy in the early 1990s.