The Carter Center and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) partnered to examine election observation in the U.S. and the main regulations that shape observer access. In this 50-state statutory research, we look at the relevant laws and practices for multiple types of election observers.
This booklet answers the following questions:
- Who can observe elections in the U.S., including partisan, nonpartisan, and international observers?
- What is the process for accrediting observers? Who ultimately decides whether observers are permitted in a state or county?
- Which aspects of an election can observers watch? Does this vary based on the type of observer?
- What role do federal observers play?
- Have states had past experiences with election observers (case studies)?