The participation of domestic observers may enhance all aspects of the electoral process.
- Election observers were able to observe the campaign process
- Candidates and their representatives, as well as observers, were able to observe polling and counting
- Citizen observers were able to access and comment on all parts of the electoral process, including voter registration
- The vote-counting process was transparent and observable
- The state accredited citizen observer organizations and facilitated their ability to conduct their activities
- Citizens were able to participate in public affairs through nongovernmental organizations
- Observers, citizen and international, were given access to the voter education process
- The participating States consider that the presence of observers, both foreign and domestic, can enhance the electoral process for States in which elections are taking place.
- Observation is not confined to the actual polling day but includes ascertaining whether any irregularities have occurred in advance of the elections (e.g. by improper maintenance of electoral lists, obstacles to the registration of candidates, restrictions on freedom of expression, and violations of rules on access to the media or on public funding of electoral campaigns), during the elections (e.g. through pressure exerted on electors, multiple voting, violation of voting secrecy, etc.) or after polling (especially during the vote counting and announcement of the results). Observation should focus particularly on the authorities’ regard for their duty of neutrality.
- The presence of international observers should be facilitated, in line with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and also with the Venice Commission’s Guidelines on an internationally recognised status of election observers. National observers, including from civil society, should be authorised in all member States, in line with the Venice Commission’s Declaration of Global Principles for Non-partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations and the Code of Conduct for Non-partisan Election Observers and Monitors.
- Observation of elections b. Observation must not be confined to election day itself, but must include the registration period of candidates and, if necessary, of electors, as well as the electoral campaign. It must make it possible to determine whether irregularities occurred before, during or after the elections. It must always be possible during vote counting.