The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) presented two new handbooks for election observers – on media monitoring and voter registration – in Vienna on 13 July 2012.
The new publications – the Handbook on Media Monitoring for Election Observation Missions and the Handbook for the Observation of Voter Registration – are designed to provide guidance to ODIHR election observation activities in these two areas, as well as to further strengthen its observation methodology.
The Handbook on Media Monitoring was developed in recognition of the critical importance of the freedom of expression and freedom of the media to any democratic process in supporting rights such as the voters’ right to receive information and the political candidates’ right to impart information.
It provides an explanation of the media-monitoring methodology used in ODIHR election observation activities, together with guidelines for the coverage of election campaigns by public and private media.
The Handbook for the Observation of Voter Registration highlights the importance of accuracy, inclusiveness and transparency in the voter registration process as an important basis on which to ensure the equal and universal participation of eligible voters in a given election. It provides guidance on how to review the legal framework related to voter registration and how to assess the use of voter lists on election day.
The handbook aims to provide a more systematic and comprehensive approach to the observation of this part of the election process and to contribute to a better understanding of the legislative and administrative aspects of voter registration.
These publications, launched at the Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Democratic Elections and Election Observation, are aimed at increasing the transparency and professionalism of election observation, as tasked by OSCE Ministerial Council Decision No. 19/06, and were financed by extra-budgetary contributions from OSCE participating States. The handbooks are available both online and in print.