Now more than ever, citizens around the world participate in elections to hold their governments accountable, and more governments than ever recognize democratic elections as essential to establishing their legitimate authority. Yet one democratic election does not change the political culture of a society overnight. Long-term efforts are necessary to build an inclusive democratic society that respects human rights and laws, administers justice fairly, and encourages full citizen participation in government.
The assessments of organizations that monitor elections in emerging democracies are central to determining whether an election is considered genuinely democratic. The Carter Center has been a pioneer of election observation, monitoring more than 80 elections in Africa, Latin America, and Asia since 1989 and forging many of the techniques now common to the field.
The Center must be invited by a country’s election authorities and welcomed by the major political parties to ensure it can play a meaningful, nonpartisan role. Long before election day, observers analyze election laws, assess voter education and registration, and evaluate fairness in campaigns. When votes are cast, the presence of impartial observers deters interference or fraud and reassures voters that they can safely and secretly cast their ballots. Before, during, and after an election, the Center’s findings are shared in-country and reported to the international community through public statements. Read more about our recent and upcoming election observation missions in Cherokee Nation, Liberia, Tunisia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, and Cote d’Ivoire >
... principles of freedom and equality. Democratic government mental systems embrace multi-party Parliament. They advocate free and fair elections, where every voter has ... a one vote, and no vote counts more than another. Democratic governments advocate basic Civil ...
Developing Standards for Democratic Elections
The Carter Center—with the U.N. Electoral Assistance Division and the National Democratic Institute—recently played a key role in producing the Declaration of Principles for International Observation, which established professional standards for election observers. Launched in 2005, the Declaration has been endorsed by more than 30 observer organizations. Now the Center is spearheading efforts to identify and foster consensus on common international standards for what constitutes a genuinely democratic election. A related project is creating a method for observing electronic voting.