University of California, Los Angeles
Evaluating the Impact of Election Observers on Election Fraud, and on Political Representation and Accountability
April 2014 – December 2015
- Daniel Posner, Comparative Politics, University of California, Los Angeles
- George Ofosu, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles
The UCLA researchers studied the causal effects of election observers on election-day fraud and administrative irregularities in the 2014 tripartite elections in Malawi, examining what type of fraud and irregularities occurred, how the presence of observers did or did not mitigate it, and whether there was a variation in fraud or observer effectiveness in rural versus urban precincts. This study built on PI George Ofosu’s work in Ghana during the December 2012 general election, which found that election-day observers did reduce fraud, but that political actors reduced the observers’ effectiveness by relocating fraud to other polling stations.