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Independent observers, normally organised by NGOs or civic groups, serve as neutral referees. These operations require technical expertise and an enormous amount of training (Photo: European Parliament)

I'm an 'election observer' - but what do we actually do?

"Election observation" is a term often thrown around too liberally these days.

When president Donald Trump recently called on his "army" of loyalists to swarm polling stations and watch the Tuesday's (3 November) vote, it was more of an act of intimidation not observation.

But given this time of polarisation, limited trust in electoral processes and contested results, legitimate election observation is arguably more critical than ever to bolster faith in democracy.

I have s...

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The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s, not those of EUobserver

Author Bio

Laura Thornton has monitored elections in more than 15 countries, and is director for global programmes at International IDEA, a Stockholm-based intergovernmental organisation working to support and strengthen democratic political institutions and processes around the world.

Independent observers, normally organised by NGOs or civic groups, serve as neutral referees. These operations require technical expertise and an enormous amount of training (Photo: European Parliament)

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Author Bio

Laura Thornton has monitored elections in more than 15 countries, and is director for global programmes at International IDEA, a Stockholm-based intergovernmental organisation working to support and strengthen democratic political institutions and processes around the world.

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