Election monitoring is the practice of watching or overseeing elections by an independent party in order to make sure all laws are followed.
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Problems and Purpose
Election rigging and voter fraud are just some of the problems associated with public voting systems. Polls are often run by volunteers or party members who may disuade individuals from voting, may use intimidation to persuade them to vote for another candidate, or may falsify voting cards or records. Election monitors ensure that all voters cast their ballots free from coercion and that votes are counted accurately.
Official election monitoring is provided by the United Nations, at the request of a member state.
Origins and Development
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Election monitors are often volunteers from national or international organizations.
How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making
According to the United Nations guidance on elections, different types of assistance are offered with elections. These are not always related to oversight and monitoring but can include things like technical assistance. Regarding oversight, election monitoring can take the following forms:
- certification: confirming the credibility and legality of the election process and subsequent outcome.
- observation: officially observing all aspects of the election process, including the systematic collection of information and data and its analysis.
- supervision: observing and officially approving each each stage of an electoral process to ensure credibility, such as the wording of ballot papers, ballot counting, monitoring voting stations.
- expert panel: deploying a team of experts to assess the electoral process.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Analysis and Lessons Learned
 "Elections." United Nations. Accessed April 30, 2019. https://dppa.un.org/en/elections
Lead Image: Election Observers/The Economist http://tinyurl.com/yyjheydg