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During the election period, we conduct observation of the electoral process: preparation and organisation of elections, campaign financing by electoral committees, presentation of candidates in the public media, and the course of voting on election day. We analyse election results.
We Watch Elections
In 2018, in coalition with NGOs, we conducted a civic observation of the local elections on 21 October. More than 600 civic observers took part in the campaign. They conducted day-long observation in 300 randomly selected election districts across Poland. [campaign website]
Observation of TV information programs during the electoral campaigns
During the electoral campaigns we conduct an observation of TV information programs to assess time devoted to electoral campaign as well as the way of presentation of the candidates.
Television news programs play a special role in informing the public decision-making during elections. It is particularly important that public television provides accurate and impartial coverage of the election and political candidates. Therefore, we monitor the main information programs of public and commercial TV news programs aired by public TV and private broadcasters during elections to check how they fulfill the task of informing citizens about the elections and the candidates running for public office. As part of the monitoring, we track the time allocated by news shows to the election campaign, party committees, individual candidates and evaluate the context of coverage (neutral, negative or positive). We also look at the relationships between the time and way of presenting candidates. We analyze also the categories of themes and main topics exploited during the election campaign as well as study the means of non-verbal communication used for conveying information.
The monitoring is based on the methodology modeled on the National Democracy Institute’s guide Media Monitoring to Promote Democratic Elections. The reports from the monitoring are available in Polish on our website.
Examination of Ballots in 2014 Local Elections
In co-operation with the Supreme Directorate of State Archives and a team of election experts, we analysed the reasons for the high percentage of invalid votes in the elections on 16 November 2014. The experts checked ballots from 100 randomly selected districts from all over Poland. The research showed that the main reason for the increase in invalid votes compared to the 2010 elections was that it was almost three times more common to mark more than one candidate on the ballot paper.
Monitoring of Electoral Campaign Financing
In 2005-2009, with a group of several dozen volunteers, we monitored the financing of presidential, local and parliamentary election campaigns. We checked the sources of funds allocated to candidates’ electoral campaigns, especially any use of public resources and expenditures on the media campaign, propaganda materials, promotional activities on the Internet, and election fests. The results of our observations showed deficiencies in legislation that make it possible to cover up improprieties in financial management by election committees and weaknesses in supervision over electoral funds.