Authoritarianism Goes Global: Election Monitoring vs. Disinformation

Issue Date July 2015
Volume 26
Issue 3
Page Numbers 79-93
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This article confronts the battle for control of the electoral narrative in autocratic states. Autocrats subvert popular will by denying political rights and covering up their transgressions by negating transparency and sowing confusion with disinformation from state media, government-sponsored groups, and favorable international voices. Credible citizen election monitors and international observers are organizing around ethical principles and effective methodologies to ensure they accurately characterize elections and counter disinformation with impartial analysis. Advancing democratic norms for open electoral data, exercise of political rights and solidarity for these human rights defenders will help tip the scales in favor of credible elections.

About the Author

Patrick Merloe is senior associate and director of electoral programs at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), where he has engaged in electoral-integrity activities in more than sixty countries. He publishes widely on elections, human rights, and international law.

View all work by Patrick Merloe