Become an Election Observer

Welcome!

You are a young European or a young person living in Europe and you wish to join one of our Election Observation Missions? Here is all the information you need!

What does an Election Observer do?

Election observation is a simple activity, but a complex task. For a very detailed introduction to international election observation, check the handbook published by ODIHR.

Our Missions focus exclusively on the election day. On this day, our Election Observers visit the polling stations where people cast their votes – from the opening of the polling stations in the early morning till the delivery of voting results late at night.

In particular, observation is directed at:

  • the adequacy of the polling stations' location, environment and equipment;
  • respect for existing procedures (both by voters and by polling station officials themselves);
  • polling station officials' statements about any problems or irregularities;
  • accuracy and transparency of the counting process;
  • delivery of the votes (and results) after counting;
  • the presence of any signs of electoral fraud.

Observation does not mean "just sit and watch"; it involves active communication, especially with the polling station officials and, potentially, other observers. However, an Election Observer may never intervene, but can only report. For this purpose, Election Observers detailedly document their observations on special election observations forms.

After the election day, all Election Observers together write a report not only about their observations, but also about what they learned and experienced during the Mission.

You can find a more detailed structure of our Missions here.

Who can be an Election Observer?

In order to be an election observer on one of our Missions, you need to:

  • be at least 18 and not more than 30 years old;
  • be an citizen of a member country of the Council of Europe
  • be fluent in English (relevant other language skills are an asset);
  • be available for the entire duration of the Mission (standard: 5 days);
  • demonstrate an appropriate motivation (election observation is not tourism);
  • have sufficient time for a comprehensive online training in advance of the Mission.

Important: You are not required to have any related experience!

Possible further conditions may be specified in the respective call.

How become an Election Observer?

You can find our upcoming Missions here.

Before every Mission (usually around two months in advance) we publish a call for observers. In this call you will find all necessary information related to the Mission as well as a detailed application procedure.