The participation of observers, citizen and international, may enhance all aspects of the electoral process.
- Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of Vote Counting and Tabulation
- Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of Voter Education
- Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of Voting Operations
- Transparency in Electoral Management Body Decision Making and Procurement
- Observation of the Campaign Period
- Partisan and Nonpartisan Observation of the Voter Registration Process
- Transparent Dispute Resolution Process
- Election Observation
- Candidates and their representatives, as well as observers, were able to observe polling and counting
- The vote-counting process was transparent and observable
- Citizens were able to participate in public affairs through nongovernmental organizations
- Observers, citizen and international, were given access to the voter education process
- The electoral management body ensured transparency in its decision making; for example, through open meetings and the use of public and competitive tenders
- Election observers were able to observe the campaign process
- Citizen observers were able to access and comment on all parts of the electoral process, including voter registration
- Transparency and access to information were respected during the dispute resolution process
- International observers were accredited and were able to access and comment on all parts of the electoral 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.
- 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.
- Observers should be given unimpeded access to all levels of election administration at all times, effective access to other public offices with relevance to the election process, and the ability to meet with all political formations, the media, civil society and voters. The law should provide clear and precise provisions establishing the rights of observers to inspect documents, attend meetings and observe election activities at all levels, as well as to obtain copies of decisions, protocols, tabulations, minutes and other electoral documents, at all levels.
- International election observation has the potential to enhance the integrity of election processes, by deterring and exposing irregularities and fraud and by providing recommendations for improving electoral processes.
- Citizens have an internationally recognized right to associate and a right to participate in governmental and public affairs in their country. These rights may be exercised through nongovernmental organizations monitoring all processes related to elections and observing procedures, including among other things the functioning of electronic and other electoral technologies inside polling stations, counting centers and other electoral facilities, as well as the transport of ballots and other sensitive materials. International election observation missions should evaluate and report on whether domestic nonpartisan election monitoring and observation organizations are able, on a nondiscriminatory basis, to conduct their activities without undue restrictions or interference.
- Non-partisan observation and monitoring of elections by citizen organizations is part of participating in public affairs, which “relates to legislative, executive and administrative powers” and “covers all aspects of public administration, and the formulation and implementation of policy….”(UNHRC General Comment 25, paragraph 5.) Non-partisan election observation and monitoring by citizen organizations exercises the right of association that is central to the functioning of nongovernmental organizations, as well as the right to seek, receive and impart information that is vital to transparency and is included in the freedom of expression protected by articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ICCPR.
- 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.
- Non-partisan election observation and monitoring by citizen organizations is the mobilization of citizens in a politically neutral, impartial and non-discriminatory manner to exercise their right of participation in public affairs by witnessing and reporting on electoral developments through: independent, systematic and comprehensive evaluation of legal frameworks, institutions, processes and the political environment related to elections; impartial, accurate and timely analysis of findings; the characterization of the findings based on the highest ethical standards for impartiality and accuracy; the offering of appropriate recommendations for obtaining genuine democratic elections; and advocating for improvements in legal frameworks for elections, their implementation through electoral related administration and removal of impediments to full citizen participation in electoral and political processes.
- 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.