Election observation

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

Elections in Norway

Norway is bound by a number of international documents both to invite and to receive national and international election observers.

The legal framework about election observation includes the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the OSCE Copenhagen Document of 1990, and the OSCE Charter for European Security.

Organisations and institutions wishing to observe elections in Norway must apply to the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation for accreditation. The Ministry issues proof of accreditation pursuant to Section 15-10 of the Election Act. More detailed information about election observation and Norway’s commitments is to be found in Chapter 25 of the Election Manual (pdf-format).

Guidelines for election observers

The Ministry has drawn up guidelines for election observation in Norway. The guidelines contains both Norwegian and English text. It provides information about the procedure for applying for accreditation, what can be observed during elections, and the “Code of conduct for observers”.

Guidelines for election observers in Norway (pdf)
Publication no.: H-2235. Published in 2009.

The purpose of election observation

The purpose of election observation is to determine whether the election and the electoral process are in compliance with national and international legislation and other universal principles for democratic elections.

Elections are concerned with fundamental civil and political rights, and election observation is thus an aid to protecting these rights. Elections shall take place in an ambience of confidence, transparency and accountability which offers electors a choice between different political options.

A good, democratic election process is contingent on compliance with the law, respect for freedom of expression and free media, the right to establish political parties and compete for election, non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all citizens, and freedom from threats. Election observation strengthens accountability and transparency and thereby boosts both national and international confidence in the election process.

Election observations conducted in Norway

The Parliamentary Elections 2013

During the 2013 Parliamentary Elections, a team of experts from the OSCE observed the conduct of the elections. The mission focused on regulations on political party finance, the electronic election administration system and the internet voting pilot project.

Norway, Parliamentary Elections, 9 September 2013: Final Report,
OSCE/ODIHR Election Assessment Mission

The Ministry's response to OSCE's EAM report (pdf)

The Carter Center also deployed an election observer, a so-called "Expert Study Mission", to observe the Internet voting trials. Their expert worked closely with the observers from the OSCE. The report from the Carter Center is neither an election observation report nor an evaluation of the Norwegian pilot project. The conclusions and recommendations following the report is directed toward anyone interested in conducting or observing Internet voting.

Internet Voting Pilot: Norway's 2013 Parliamentary Elections.
Expert Study Mission Report, The Carter Center

The Municipal and County Council Elections 2011

During the 2011 Municipal and County Council Elections, a pilot project with Internet voting was carried out. Voters in 10 municipalities were permitted to vote in advance via the Internet. An expert group from the OSCE followed the conduct of the Internet voting pilot project.

Internet voting pilot project local government elections 12 September 2012.
OSCE/ODIHR Election Expert Team Report

The Ministry's response to OSCE's EET report.

The Parliamentary Elections 2009

In 2009, the OSCE observed the conduct of the Parliamentary Elections. The election observation was conducted by the ODIHR office inWarszawa. The OSCE report from the mission was presented on 27 November 2009. The Ministry presented on 31 May 2010 a response report to the OSCE, describing how the Ministry will follow up the remarks from the OSCE on the conduct of the Parliamentary Elections.

Norway, Parliamentary Elections, 14 September 2009: Final Report.
OSCE/ODIHR Election Assessment Mission Report

The Ministry's response to OSCE's EAM report

Relevant documents election observation

Documents about election observation

Documents about democratic principles for elections

Links to other sites which have information about election observation: