The Implications of Multiple Monitors for Electoral Integrity
This chapter examines how regimes respond strategically to election monitoring. In particular, it argues that regimes facing high risks of being accused of election fraud and malpractice are likely to invite a range of monitoring observer organizations to evaluate the quality of their elections. If both negative and positive evaluation reports are published after the event, this mixed message helps to deflect international and domestic criticism. The tendency of trying to offset a possibly negative report through a more supportive one is expected to be particularly pronounced in institutionally weak, corrupt, and economically dependent countries. In addition, the chapter predicts that incumbents who invite the right combination of monitors are less likely to face post-election unrest at home. One implication arising from this study is that scholars should be cautious about overreliance on observer reports as a source of independent and reliable information about electoral integrity, since the diversity of monitoring organizations today means that evaluations differ systematically.
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