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Election Observation

Update on the Call for Election Observers 2018


  1. A new election observation roster was established in January 2019.
  2. Those process of security vetting and training those shortlisted to the new roster is ongoing.
  3. The Department will not be releasing the names of the new roster until the security vetting process is complete.
  4. Further information on international election observing, the election roster and the recent roster selection process is available under Key Documents or at this link
  5. The Department received 395 applications by the deadline - almost twice as many applications as roster places. This has meant that there were many unsuccessful applicants, including individuals with good experience. In the interest of fairness, an appeals process was made available to unsuccesful applicants. That process has now concluded. Two additional individuals were added to the shortlist following the appeals process. The Department is liaising with the individuals concerned regarding security vetting, training and other matters.
  6. The roster selection process has now concluded.
  7. So far in 2019 members of the new roster have participated in election observation missions in El Salvador, Nigeria, Senegal and Moldova. Irish election observers will also participate in the OSCE election observation mission in Ukraine later this month.
  8. The Department does not accept applications for election observer missions from members of the public who have not been shortlisted to the roster. There are no plans to hold a new roster selection process before 2022.


For information purposes the Volunteer Information Booklet is available below:

Volunteer Information Booklet

International election observation missions play an important role in the promotion of democracy and human rights.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade maintains and administers a roster of observers for such missions, which are organised in the main by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU). The aim is to ensure that, when requested, Ireland is represented at an appropriate level in international observation missions for elections and constitutional referendums.

On average, the Department deploys, at the request of the EU or the OSCE, observers on some 12-18 election observation missions per year. Observers may act as either Short Term Observers (i.e. for around 10-14 days) or Long Term Observers (up to 60 days in some cases). Observers work involves overseeing and monitoring the election process to ensure that it is fair and impartial. In the case of long term observers, these can also be involved in establishing and setting up arrangements for the election process.

If you have any queries in connection with the election observation roster, please email us. As the Elections Desk is currently receiving a high number of queries it may take some time to respond to routine queries. Please bear with us. Thank you.


Election Observers (11 December 2018)

A listing of the elections to which the Department has sent observers since 2013 is available here. We will update this listing periodically.Download PDF (223KB)


Election Observation Missions 2017