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Real Lives, Real Change: Democracy Program

U.S. Election: Election Bites

Grab your lunch and join us for 10-minute interviews with election experts on some of the most pressing U.S. election issues. Learn more »

Center Observes Record-Breaking Georgia Audit

In November, the state of Georgia undertook the largest hand tally of election ballots ever performed in the United States. And The Carter Center had a front-row seat. Learn more »

2020 Election: Center Tackles Transparency, Political Violence

The 2020 U.S. election was like none before it. Polarization was at an all-time high, with many on both sides mistrusting each other and the process itself. The pandemic introduced further complications, challenging election officials to find ways to ensure accessibility while keeping voters safe. Because of this, The Carter Center chose to do something it had never done before—get involved in a U.S. election. Learn more »

Carter-Baker Panel Discussions Focus on Bipartisan Solutions to Election Reform

In 2005, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III joined forces to chair the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform. Learn more »

Center Monitors Fall Elections in Three Countries

The United States was not the only country in the midst of election season this fall; many countries around the world held or will soon hold elections, and The Carter Center worked on three of them. Learn more »

Blocked from the Booth: Many Native Americans Have Difficulty Voting

When North Dakota Democrats held their caucus in March, residents of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation – which stretches over six counties and nearly a million acres – had just one designated spot to drop off ballots. Learn more »

Using Art to Halt the Spread of Coronavirus in DRC

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, young artists with ties to The Carter Center are giving their time and talent to create paintings and songs that encourage people in their communities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn more »

A High-Stakes Election in Guyana

On March 2, citizens of Guyana went to the polls for what the country was calling “the mother of all elections.” Every election is important, of course, but this one was deemed especially so because five years ago, Exxon discovered massive amounts of oil off the coast of Guyana. The first barrels hit the market in January. Now this small, poor nation is poised to become a very rich one. And the country’s two major political parties – which are divided largely along ethnic lines – desperately want to control the coming wealth. Learn more »

'There is a Demand for Human Rights'

Thirteen years ago, The Carter Center opened the Human Rights House in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is home to a small team of staffers who perform a large amount of work – providing training and assistance to more than 100 local civil society organizations working on issues related to human rights, supporting a protection network that helps keep human rights defenders safe, and overseeing a variety of projects designed to spark youth engagement in democracy and human rights. Learn more »

Breaking Down Barriers to Native American Voting

Their ancestors were the first to live on the land that came to be known as America, and yet many still have trouble exercising the most basic of American rights – the right to vote. Native Americans face a variety of barriers on their way to the polls, some of which seem almost unbelievable in 2019. Learn more »

Waging Peace Around the World

Building a peaceful world involves more than ending war. A peaceful world is one in which justice thrives, everyone’s rights are respected, and people have access to essentials. The Carter Center has dozens of programs and projects dedicated to making the dream of peace a reality. This slide show explores a handful of them. Learn more »

Democracy Takes a Step Forward in Liberia

The year 2017 was a historic one for Liberia. “For the first time in most of their lives, Liberians saw power transfer from one democratically elected president to another,” said Jordan Ryan, vice president of the Carter Center’s peace programs. “This is something that hasn’t happened in Liberia since the 1940s. Other presidents were forced from power, died in office, or murdered in coups. Learn more »

Carter Center Observes Contentious Kenya Election

On Aug. 8, the Kenyan people stood for hours in long lines to cast their votes in presidential, parliamentary, and local races. Despite their patience and determination, the underlying mood was tense. Learn more »

Liberia Women: Peace Must Prevail

Every day in the weeks leading up to Liberia’s Oct. 10 election, scores of women wearing white t-shirts and blue-and-white skirts gathered in an open-air tent set up in a field in the capital city of Monrovia. Learn more »

Carter Center Prepares to Observe High-Stakes Kenyan Election

When Kenyans go to the polls Aug. 8 to choose their next president, election observers expect tensions to be running high. The race is a virtual repeat of the 2013 contest, again pitting challenger Raila Odinga against Uhuru Kenyatta, who won the last round by the narrowest of margins. Learn more »

Carter Center Preps Ohio Women for Election Observation

Members of the League of Women Voters of Ohio learn about election observation from Carter Center staff. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Channeling Youthful Energy in DRC

As the Democratic Republic of Congo edges toward its next national election — slated for November, though the timing is in question — one thing is clear: The nation’s young people will play an important role. Learn more »

VP Brings Field Experience from Liberia, Vietnam

Jordan Ryan, vice president for peace programs, may be relatively new to The Carter Center, but his connection to President and Mrs. Carter dates back to the ’70s. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Technology Drives Faster Election Notes

ELMO (short for Election Monitoring) is a Carter Center created electronic data collection and analysis system. Since its introduction in 2011, ELMO has gradually rendered paper checklists obsolete. Equipped with ELMO, observers can submit their checklist data — with more detail than ever before — to headquarters in real time using touchscreen tablets or smartphones. Computers continuously aggregate the data for staff to analyze. Learn more »

Meet Kirk Embrack: A Taxi Driver Voting for a Better Future

It's election day in Georgetown, Guyana, and taxi driver Kirk Embrack can't stop smiling. "I'm always an optimist," he says. "I would like to see Guyana be back to the days of old, when it was the breadbasket of the Caribbean." Learn more »

Meet Christophe Kabwita: Rebuilding a Life on a Level Field

For five years, Christophe Kabwita has been trying to reclaim what is rightfully his while also trying to keep his family sheltered, fed, and healthy. Learn more »

Latest Election Another Important Test for Guyana

The Carter Center launched its fourth election observation mission in Guyana at an important time in the country's history. Learn more »

View from the Inside: An Observer Recalls the Carter Center's First Election

The chanting started soon after Jennie Lincoln and her partner entered the school in the Chiriqui province in Panama on May 7, 1989. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Carter Center Celebrates 100 Elections

Twenty-six years ago, in May 1989, The Carter Center sent its first-ever team of election observers to Panama, where their work exposed General Manuel Noriega's scheme to falsify tally sheets to swing the elections in favor of his handpicked candidate. It established The Carter Center as a leader in what was then the still relatively new field of election observation. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Congo Election Observers Pick Up New Skills in Tunisia

Many times, the best way to learn something is by doing it. That's why Cyrille Ebotoko and Marie Danielle Luyoyo Pwenika left their homes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in November to serve as Carter Center short-term observers in Tunisia's presidential elections. Learn more »

Tunisia's Lone Female Presidential Candidate: 'Continue to Fight'

When student protesters took to the streets in Tunisia at the beginning of the Arab Spring, 55-year-old Kalthoum Kannou was by their side. Learn more »

Democracy Takes Root in Tunisia

On Sunday, Nov. 23, Tunisians will do something they've never done before: go to the polls to elect the president of their choice in a genuine democratic election. Learn more »

Meet Mahendra Gwacha: Temporary Police Officer in Nepal

Mahendra Gwacha stood with pride as he listened to his supervisor's instructions at the Bagh Bhairab Temple in Kirtipur, Nepal, and then he and his fellow temporary police officers, or myadi prahari, got to work carrying tables and chairs from a nearby elementary school to transform the 900-year-old holy site to a polling place for the next day's constituent assembly election. Learn more »

Meet Gopal Siwakoti: Domestic Observer in Nepal

A former political prisoner, Dr. Siwakoti now is one of Nepal's most prominent human rights advocates. His passion for human rights stems from his personal knowledge of what happens when a country lacks democracy and an open society. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Waging Peace: Nepal's 2013 Election

After casting her ballot this morning in Bhaktapur, 33-year-old Sangita Shrestha felt joy, but the feeling was tempered by a stern message she had for those who will be elected to Nepal's new constituent assembly, "Do your job properly and draft a new constitution as soon as possible." Learn more »

Nepal Elections Give Voice to Democracy

Voter turnout was high as Nepalis defied strikes and scattered violence leading up to Nepal's Nov. 19 constituent assembly election. The Carter Center, which has maintained a team of election observers in Nepal since 2007, deployed 66 observers from 31 countries to provide an independent and impartial assessment of this election process and ensure voting was transparent, credible, and fair. Learn more »

Meet Audrey Kasandi: Deputy Polling Station Official for Kenya's 2013 Elections

In 2008, Audrey Kasandi remembers traveling to school in a convoy escorted by armed police for safety, and seeing burned down shells of houses and tent villages stretched across fields full of internally displaced people in Kenya's Rift Valley as the country recoiled from post-election violence. Yet when opportunity arose to serve as deputy presiding officer of a polling station in March 2013, she jumped at the chance despite her fears. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Carter Center Observes Kenya's Election on March 4

Carter Center election observers in Kenya reported longs lines outside many polling stations on March 4, some nearly a kilometer long, and voters waited in lines for up to six hours or more. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: The Carter Center Works for Peace in the Wake of Arab Revolutions

“In all of these countries, the path to democracy is full of challenges,” said Hrair Balian, director of the Conflict Resolution Program at the Center. “The successful outcome will depend on the level of inclusiveness and tolerance of the new orders being created.” Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Sierra Leone Amputees: Enjoying Freedom and Football

While other voters squeezed into polling stations and stood for hours in the Sierra Leone heat to cast ballots in the country's Nov. 17 general election, John Mussa moved straight to the head of the line. One advantage to having only one arm, he said, "is you don't have to wait in the queue to vote." Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: From the Field: Carter Center Observes Sierra Leone Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

The Nov. 17, 2012, presidential and parliamentary elections were the first self-administered elections to be conducted in Sierra Leone since the end of the civil war in 2002, representing an important test for the country's democratic consolidation. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Egypt Voters Hopeful for Country's Future

In June, Egyptians chose the first democratically elected president in the country's history, and despite the challenging circumstances of the process, many voters still felt the moment's importance. Learn more »

Observing Egypt's Election

The Carter Center has deployed 22 international election witnesses to Egypt's upcoming May 23-24 presidential elections and will send a larger delegation of 80 witnesses from over 35 nations several days before the election, led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Many of the Center's witnesses have been with The Carter Center in Egypt since November 2011 and have witnessed the lower and upper house parliamentary elections too. Learn more »

South Sudan: Carter Center Helps New Country Build Democratic Foundations

The Carter Center's peace programs have retained a presence in South Sudan after observing the 2011 referendum on independence in the hopes of contributing to a lasting peace and the establishment of strong democratic foundations. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: The Carter Center at 30: Pioneer of Election Observation

During 2012, The Carter Center celebrates three decades of waging peace, fighting disease, and building hope. This is the first in a series of anniversary features highlighting the Center's global impact since its founding. Learn more »

Dispatches from Egypt: Carter Center Witnesses Reflect on Election Voices, Symbols

Read firsthand accounts from two of the Center's witnesses in Egypt - Nedra Cherif and Matt Hall - who were deployed to Alexandria and Fayoum governorates during the first round of voting. Learn more »

Tunisian Voters Find Hope in Election and Look to Real Change in Everyday Lives

On Oct. 23, Haythem, 28, wrapped himself in a Tunisian flag, stood for four hours in a line that spanned as far as the eye could see on a street in downtown Tunis, and cast a vote for the first time in his life. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Carter Center Observes as Tunisians Cast Historic Votes for Brighter Future

Long lines of Tunisians waited for hours to vote on Sunday to choose 217 members of a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution – many casting a ballot for the first time in their lives – in the country's first open and competitive election in decades. Learn more »

The Carter Center Answers Your Questions About the Historic Oct. 23 Tunisia Elections

The Carter Center will observe the Oct. 23 vote in Tunisia - the first Arab Spring country to hold elections - for a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution. A selection of questions submitted online are answered below by Carter Center observers on the ground in Tunisia. Learn more »

Liberia Elections in Brief: Oct. 11 Presidential and Legislative Elections 'Critical Test'

Presidential and legislative elections in Liberia on Oct. 11 will be a critical test for the country's transition from war to democratic and constitutional government. A Carter Center delegation will observe those elections, led by His Excellency General Dr. Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria's former head of state. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Southern Sudan Votes for Secession

As the sun rose across Juba on Jan. 9, Lulogo Market area resident Ibrahim, 33, had already waited in line for hours to be among the first to vote in Southern Sudan's historic referendum on self-determination. He clutched a small radio with antenna pointed toward the sky to hear news fragments from BBC and local stations about the referendum. Learn more »

Carter Center Observers Witness Southern Sudan's Referendum on Self-Determination

Carter Center observers witnessed the birth of what is expected to be the world's newest nation, following Southern Sudan's Jan. 9-15 referendum on self-determination, with an overwhelming majority--a reported 98.9 percent--voting for secession from Sudan. Learn more »

Stadium Massacre Fuels Survivor's Commitment to Full Democracy for Guinea

Quietly recalling the memory of people jumping from stadium walls to save their lives, and others falling like flies from the gunfire of soldiers, Bademba Diallo remembers thinking in the chaos of that afternoon: "you only die once." Learn more »

As Nepal Struggles, Observers Keep Information Flowing

For the past two years, Carter Center observers have traveled around the country, assessing progress and reporting their findings as Nepal has undergone major transformation. Within the last five years, the Asian country has gone from monarchy to electing a constituent assembly charged with drafting a constitution. Learn more »

Long-Term Sudan Observers Impressed with Enthusiasm, Mobilization of Communities Readying for Elections

Carter Center long-term observers in Sudan, who have been deployed since August 2009, will soon be joined by a full delegation to observe the country's April elections. In teams of two, long-term observers have assessed pre-election developments, including voter registration in December. Learn more »

Innovative Smartphone Technology Streamlines Election Observation Process

The Carter Center, long at the forefront of the election observation field, is working with students at Georgia Tech University to take the field forward again – using smartphone technology to streamline the observation process and compile the findings of observers in a fast, efficient, and transparent way. Learn more »

Sudanese Domestic Election Observer Feels Sense of Responsibility To Next Generation

Merekaje Lorna can't wait to vote. A domestic election observer trained by The Carter Center in Sudan, she believes she and other young Sudanese have a responsibility to contribute to credible elections for the sake of the next generation, and as her country approaches its first multi-party elections in 24 years, she looks forward to being able to choose her leaders. Learn more »

Bolivia Long-Term Election Observers Witness Convergence of Tradition and Technology

As the only foreign organization monitoring Bolivia's voter registration process, Carter Center long-term observers are witnessing a historic convergence of technology with indigenous cultures in one of South America's most diverse countries. Learn more »

Human Rights House Provides Safe Space for Activists, Supports Citizens in Democratic Republic of the Congo

The initial vision for the Carter Center's Human Rights House was to provide both a space and forum for human rights activists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, building on the momentum of the 2006 elections. Learn more »

East Jerusalem Family Forced to Demolish Part of Own Home, Center Expert Cites Abuse of Permit System

From the roof of his family's home in East Jerusalem within the walls of the Old City, Raed Sa'id points to the golden Dome of The Rock, which is glowing in the late-afternoon sun. Learn more »

Voter Encouraged by Carter Center Presence During Lebanon Elections, Hopeful About Country's Political Future

Lama Naja represents hope for Lebanon's political future. A politically independent young person in a country full of strong political passions and fierce party loyalties, she instead voted on June 7 for the people she thought may keep their campaign promises. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Lebanon Parliamentary Elections

Lebanon held successful parliamentary elections on June 7, 2009, the results of which were accepted peacefully by both sides. The Carter Center deployed 60 observers from 23 countries to assess voting, counting, and tabulation processes, led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former Prime Minister of Yemen Abdul-Kareem al–Eryani. Learn more »

Carter Center Deploys Election Observation Delegation to Lebanon's June 7, 2009, Parliamentary Elections

A multinational Carter Center delegation will observe Lebanon's June 7 parliamentary elections, monitoring polling sites throughout the country's 25 qadas (districts). Learn more »

New York Times Spotlights Gender Violence and Rule of Law in Liberia

New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof recently traveled to Liberia to explore progress against sexual and gender violence there and the impact of the Carter Center's rule of law project. Learn more »

Carter Center Observers Prepare for Upcoming Lebanon Election

With accreditation from Lebanon's Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities, The Carter Center dispatched six long-term observers to Lebanon in March to monitor the electoral process leading to parliamentary elections on June 7, 2009. Learn more »

A Day in the Life of a Long-Term Observer in Lebanon

Marwa Alkhairo is a long-term observer in the Carter Center's election observation mission in Lebanon. This is her first election mission. She graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service with a master's degree in Arab studies in 2008 and certificate in refugee and humanitarian studies. She has had expansive experience in international NGOs, research institutes, film, and advocacy work as related to issues in the Arab world. Learn more »

Carter Center Long-Term Observers Reflect on Their Experiences in Aceh, Indonesia

Long-term election observers Whitney Haring-Smith and Eunsook Jung have been deployed in Aceh since March 2009 as part of the Carter Center's mission to observe Indonesia's April 9, 2009 parliamentary elections. Learn more »

Carter Center Conducts Human Rights Training for Congolese Police Officers

Until recently, police officers in Kimbasneke, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), investigated case files at a music bar or other public space because they didn't have office space. When it rained, they carried the papers under their shirts to preserve the files. Learn more »

Ghana Voter Committed to Peaceful Election Process; Encourages Peers to Vote

As the sun rose on Ghana's second election day in two weeks, Alice Appoh had already stood in line for hours to wait for voting to begin, her two-year-old child sound asleep on her back. Learn more »

Carter Center Delegation Observes Ghana's Peaceful, Historic Elections

More than 50 Carter Center observers witnessed Ghana's Dec. 7 elections, the results of which will determine the country's next president and parliament. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Delegates Observe Election Day in Ghana

Fifty–seven Carter Center observers witnessed Ghana's Dec. 7, 2008, presidential and parliamentary elections. Overall, the Center’s observers visited more than 300 polling stations on election day, witnessing the opening, voting, and closing of voting across the country. Learn more »

African Union and Carter Center Partnership Q & A with David Pottie

The Carter Center and the African Union (AU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on July 29, 2008, at the AU Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The MOU will enable the Center to work closely with the AU in areas such as election monitoring, human rights, and strengthening democracies. Carter Center Vice-President for Peace Programs John Stremlau signed on behalf of The Carter Center while Department of Political Affairs Commissioner Julie Joiner signed on behalf of AU Commission Chairperson H.E. Jean Ping. Learn more »

Lebanon Election Observation Feature

Roger Bryant is a long-term observer in the Carter Center's election observation mission in Lebanon. After a career in the British Navy, Roger worked with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina for a number of years before becoming involved in election work abroad as administrator and then as a long-term observer. Roger was a member of the Carter Center's observation mission to Nepal in 2007-8. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Carter Center Observes Historic Nepal Elections

The Carter Center’s international election observation delegation to Nepal’s April 10, 2008, elections, led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, former deputy prime minister of Thailand, included 62 observers from more than 20 nations. Learn more »

Nepal Elections Mark New Political Beginning

Carter Center election observers witnessed a historic vote in Nepal on April 10 creating a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution for the country that will likely abolish the 240-year-old monarchy. Learn more »

International Carter Center Delegation Observes Historic Nepal Elections

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter led the Carter Center's international election observation delegation to Nepal's historic constituent assembly elections, co-led by Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, former deputy prime minister of Thailand. Learn more »

Remembering Guyana's 1992 Elections, an excerpt from 'Beyond the White House,' by Jimmy Carter

In 2007, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wrote "Beyond the White House," about his post-presidency work with The Carter Center. In it, he reflected on a number of election observation missions, including the Center's first to Guyana, in 1992. An excerpt from the book, published by Simon and Schuster, is reprinted here. Learn more »

Election Delayed, But Long-Term Observers Continue in Nepal

Nepal has undergone tremendous changes in the past year. A 2006 peace agreement ended a decade of fighting between government forces and the Maoists, and the country's king gave up all power other than his ceremonial status. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Long-Term Election Observers Go the Distance in Nepal

The Carter Center observed Nepal’s constituent assembly elections, which were delayed from the scheduled Nov. 22, 2007, date. The Center’s long-term observers (LTOs) have been deployed throughout the country since March 2007. Currently the only international observation mission in Nepal, the Center’s well–established reputation for professional and impartial observation enables it to gather a wide range of information from diverse actors. Learn more »

Long-Term Election Observer Reflects on Being Part of Nepal "Roaming Team"

Jason Katz is a long-term observer (LTO) for the Carter Center's election observation mission in Nepal. Katz previously worked at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and served as an election monitor during both rounds of elections in Peru in 2001. Learn more »

Nepal Elections: By Foot, Car, and Plane, Observer Assesses Country's Readiness

Stefanie Gross was a long-term observer (LTO) for the Carter Center's election observation mission in Nepal from March-December 2007, and wrote her reflections during this time. Originally from Germany, Stefanie completed her undergraduate degree in political studies and her postgraduate degree in conflict resolution in the United Kingdom before interning at The Carter Center in 2006. Learn more »

Venezuela RCTV Station Closure: Q&A with Americas Program Director Jennifer McCoy

President Chávez announced that he would deepen the Bolivarian Revolution and establish "21st century socialism." He draws on Simón Bolívar's 19th century ideas of South American integration, and on a new approach to socialism based on a mixed economy with majority state control, distribution of oil revenues, worker participation in businesses, and greater popular participation in political decision-making. Learn more »

Carter Center Issues Final Report on 2006 Nicaragua Elections

Final report of the Carter Center's election observation team on the 2006 Nicaragua elections. Held November 5, 2006, this was the fourth national election in Nicaragua observed by The Carter Center since 1990. Learn more »

David Carroll: Director Finds Satisfaction in Helping Struggling Democracies

When Liberia's first female president won in 2005, her opponent charged that the election results were tainted. But Carter Center Democracy Program Director David Carroll knew otherwise.> Learn more »

Give Peace a Chance: Nicaragua's 2006 Presidential Elections (Carter Center Slideshow)

The Carter Center deployed a 62-member delegation to observe Nicaragua’s 2006 election. Carter Center observers David Evans and Sandra Flores, a French citizen, were based in Rio San Juan, which shares its river and border with Costa Rica. They arrived in the region via small plane on a muddy landing strip. Learn more »

International Delegation Observes DRC Elections

Kinshasa....A 45-member international Carter Center delegation led by former Prime Minister of Canada Joe Clark observed the Democratic Republic of the Congo's presidential runoff elections Oct. 29. Carter Center Peace Programs Associate Executive Director John Stremlau was co-leader of the delegation. Learn more »

John Stremlau: Role at Center Allows Director to Keep Close Ties With African Continent

Dr. John Stremlau views the recent elections held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as both triumphant and tragic. "It was quite moving to see the Congolese people turn out to vote," he said. "At the same time," he added, "it was depressing to see how the country and its people have suffered so greatly." Learn more »

Carter Center Peace Stories from the Field - DR Congo Family

The afternoon sun catches Yayu Zonveni's face near the door of her otherwise shadowy home in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). She sits in a blue plastic chair waiting for customers to buy the soda and beer she sells from her house; 200 Congolese francs for a Coke, 400 for a beer. It takes her a day and a half to sell a case of 24 bottles, for which she receives a profit of 400 FC, or almost $1US. Learn more »

One Village Votes: Elections in Shidong, China

One of the most important democratic experiments of the last 25 years has been the movement in 600,000 villages across China toward competitive elections, allowing 75 percent of the nation's 1.3 billion people to elect their local leaders. The Carter Center has worked with the Chinese government to help standardize the vast array of election procedures taking place in this new democratic environment and to foster good local governance. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Elections Mark Turning Point in Liberia's History

The Carter Center observed Liberia’s historic presidential and legislative elections on Oct. 11, 2005. Only two years earlier, Liberia had emerged from 14 years of civil warfare, which had left over a million people displaced and the country’s infrastructure destroyed. More than 1.3 million people registered to vote, which was estimated to be 90 percent of the eligible population. Learn more »

Stories from Liberia: Field Officer Reflects on Election Prep in a War-Torn Land

Liberians, their country devastated by years of civil war, head to the polls in October 2005 in the most promising opportunity the country will have to establish a fragile, post-conflict democracy. Liberia's destroyed infrastructure, pervasive poverty, 85 percent illiteracy rate, and bitter electoral history are compounding the challenges of providing civic education and making technical arrangements for the election process. Learn more »

Carter Center Slideshow: Palestinian Elections 2005

A Palestinian woman places her vote inside the ballot box. Despite a boycott by Hamas and impediments to voters, the turnout was about 65 percent, and there was no serious violence either by the Palestinians or Israelis. Learn more »

Stories From the Field: Jacob Lablah

Looking across the many rows of wood-and-mud shacks that house more than 12,000 people in a camp for displaced persons in Margibi County, Liberia, Jacob Lablah knows he still has work to do. Learn more »

Former Presidents, Prime Ministers Work for Democracy in Americas

For 12 hours in November 2001, in Managua, Nicaragua, Oscar Arias Sanchez visited each polling station on his list, diligently noting voting procedures, listening to voters, and querying election officials. Having co-led the Center's 1996 Nicaragua election mission with President Carter and former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, the responsibilities were both sacred and familiar to Arias, the former president of Costa Rica and author of a peace plan for Central America that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987. Learn more »

Jamaicans Renew Confidence in Democratic Process

Helping to break the cycle of violence that has plagued previous elections in Jamaica, The Carter Center in October observed the island nation's second relatively peaceful election. Learn more »