Making Every Vote Count: Domestic Election Monitoring in Asia

Resource Info
Eric Bjornlund and David Timberman

Eric Bjornlund and David Timberman. Making Every Vote Count: Domestic Election Monitoring in Asia (Washington, DC and Manila, the Philippines: National Democratic Institute and National Citizens Movement for Free Elections, 1996) (translated into Bahasa Indonesia).

In recent years, growing numbers of nonpartisan civic organizations have mobilized to monitor controversial or watershed elections in a number of Asian countries. These organizations are contributing to more open, democratic political systems in Asia in two very different ways. First, they are helping to improve the quality and transparency of electoral processes, which produces greater public confidence in elections and increases the chances that all sides will accept election results. Second, and perhaps more importantly, election monitoring motivates citizen involvement in public affairs, which is helping to transform the way citizens view their relationship to and participation in politics and governance. This report provides an overview of the recent experiences and strategies of election monitoring organizations (EMOs) in Asia. It attempts both to describe the diverse experiences of these groups and to identify issues and approaches common to all or many of them. It is hoped that these insights will be of interest and relevance to academics, policy makers and leaders of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Asia and other regions.