The Democratic Election Standards initiative’s handbooks and other thematic publications, along with the Democracy Program’s final reports from election observation missions, contribute to shared knowledge within the election observation community and draw attention to key issues.
This page is dedicated to the recent publications relating to the Democratic Election Standards initiative. A full library of the Carter Center’s election observation mission reports can be accessed here.
DES Reports and Publications
2018, “Transparency” in Electoral Integrity in America: Securing Democracy. Published by Oxford University Press and edited by Pippa Norris, Sarah Cameron, and Thomas Wynter, and authored by by Avery Davis-Roberts, David Carroll, and Nandi Vanka, this chapter, “Transparency,” presents cutting-edge research on a topical issue in an accessible manner, and offers new evidence on major challenges facing American elections.
2017, International Election Observer Recommendations and United Nations’ Human Rights Mechanisms: Toward a More Robust System of Global Accountability on Democracy and Human Rights. Published by the Nordic Journal of Human Rights, Avery Davis-Roberts and David Carroll discuss how stronger links between election observation missions and human rights mechanisms support greater accountability.
2016, 25 Years of Election Observation at The Carter Center. A brief overview of the history of The Carter Center’s election observation work over the 25 years between 1989 and 2014 reveals a gradual evolution as the Center expanded its work around the world. Simultaneously, the role of election observation grew significantly within the Center itself, as did the role the Center plays in the field internationally.
2014, Election Obligations and Standards: A Carter Center Assessment Manual. Developed as a companion to the Election Obligations and Standards database, the manual links the obligations derived from the sources excerpted in the database to specific issues that arise during each part of the electoral process and to specific assessment criteria. It aids election observers, citizens, and researchers in understanding how important obligations such as the right to vote, freedom from discrimination, and freedom of assembly apply to each phase of the process. The poster is available here.
2014, Focus On International Election Observation. Published by the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network. This paper provides an overview of the origins, evolution, methodologies, and current challenges of international election observation.
2014, Electoral Observation and Electronic Voting in the OSCE Region: Adapting Traditional Methodologies. Written by the Democracy Program’s Jonathan Stonestreet, this article discusses concerns about the transparency and verifiability of electronic voting processes.
2013, The Carter Center and Election Observation: An Obligations-Based Approach for Assessing Elections. Published by the Election Law Journal. David Carroll and Avery Davis-Roberts provide an overview of the Center’s efforts to re-establish international human rights norms and standards as the basis of assessment for election observation missions.
2013, Voter Identification Requirements and Public International Law: An Examination of Africa and Latin America. This report surveys voter identification processes in Africa and Latin America and examines how commonalities in practice can help bridge gaps in international law and inform observation methodology.
2012, Overview of State Obligations Relevant to Democratic Governance and Democratic Elections. This paper provides an overview of the extent to which states are obliged to organize themselves as democracies and hold genuine elections.
2012, Strengthening International Law to Support Democratic Governance and Genuine Elections. This comprehensive study written with Democracy Reporting International discusses state obligations under international law relevant to democratic governance and genuine elections in detail.
2012, The Carter Center Handbook on Observing Electronic Voting. Following the Center’s initial pilot of observing “e-voting” in 2006, it conducted two additional pilot projects and released this revised handbook incorporating lessons learned.
2010, International Obligations for Electoral Dispute Resolution. Drafted by Avery Davis-Roberts, this discussion paper reviews international obligations in context to electoral dispute resolution.
2010, Using International Law to Assess Elections. Published by Democratization. This paper provides an overview of the framework developed by The Carter Center and other election observation groups to identify existing obligations for democratic elections in Public International Law and link these obligations to criteria for assessing electoral processes.
2007, Building Consensus on Principles for International Election Observation. This brief report outlines the consensus-building process that led to the endorsement of the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Observers.
2006, Developing a Methodology for Observing Electronic Voting. This publication was the first product of a multi-year collaborative initiative to facilitate understanding of “e-voting” technology, culminating in an initial pilot in Venezuela.
2005, Summary of Proceedings: Automated Voting and Election Observation. This report provides an overview of the main areas of discussion during The Carter Center-convened meeting of various representatives from organizations involved in international election observation.
Reports to Treaty Bodies
NGO Submission to the U.N. Human Rights Committee on Côte d’Ivoire
Prior to the Adoption of the List of Issues (111th Session, July 2014, Geneva)
NGO Submission to the U.N. Human Rights Committee on Sudan
Information for the Session (111th Session, July 2014, Geneva)
Relevant Stakeholder Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Nepal
(Second Cycle, 23rd Session of the UPR, Nov. 2015)
Relevant Stakeholder Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Sierra Leone
(Second Cycle, 24th Session of the UPR, Jan. 2016)
Relevant Stakeholder Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Sudan
(Second Cycle, 25th Session of the UPR, May 2016)
Relevant Stakeholder Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Venezuela
(Second Cycle, 26th Session of the UPR, October 2016)
NGO Submission to the U.N. Human Rights Committee on Madagascar
Prior to the Adoption of the List of Issues (118th Session, October 2016, Geneva)
NGO Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Philippines
(Third Cycle, 27th Session of the UPR, May 2017)
NGO Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Tunisia
(Third Cycle, 27th Session of the UPR, May 2017)
NGO Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Zambia
(Third Cycle, 28th Session of the UPR, November 2017)
NGO Submission to the U.N. Human Rights Committee on Liberia
Prior to the Adoption of the List of Issues (120th Session, July 2017, Geneva)
Information for the session (122nd Session, March 2018, Geneva)