ODIHR Election Reports
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is based in Warsaw, Poland. It is active throughout the OSCE area in the fields of election observation, democratic development, human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, and rule of law.
ODIHR deploys election observation missions to OSCE participating States to assess the implementation of OSCE commitments relating to elections. The Office also conducts technical-assistance projects and legislative reviews.
As a community of countries committed to democracy, the OSCE places great emphasis on promoting democratic elections.
The commitments agreed upon by all OSCE participating States in the 1990 Copenhagen Document, for example, emphasize fundamental principles that are central to a democratic tradition and can be summed up in seven key words: universal, equal, fair, secret, free, transparent, and accountable.
While these principles are often reflected among the formal electoral rights of citizens, this in itself is not enough; respective national authorities must demonstrate a commensurate level of political will to make elections genuinely democratic and meaningful.
ODIHR’s reputation as Europe’s leading agency in the field of election observation is built upon its systematic, comprehensive, and verifiable election observation methodology.