Twenty-six years ago, in May 1989, The Carter Center sent its first-ever team of election observers to Panama, where their work exposed General Manuel Noriega's scheme to falsify tally sheets to swing the elections in favor of his handpicked candidate. That set in motion a series of events that led to Noriega's downfall and the instatement of the rightful president. It also established The Carter Center as a leader in what was then the still relatively new field of election observation.
In the intervening years, the Center's observation teams have witnessed elections in 38 countries. Their arrival - always at critical times in a country's history - helps ensure that human rights and democratic values are respected and inspires confidence in the voting process. The Carter Center has developed a reputation as a trusted, impartial witness who speaks the truth.
In May 2015, The Carter Center observed its 100th election, this one in Guyana. As we celebrate this important milestone, we take time to reflect on some of the 99 that have preceded it.
Important Test for Guyana
The May 2015 elections were closely contested. Read story >
View from the Inside
An observer recalls the Carter Center's first election observation mission. Read story >
Where We Work
Explore the countries where the Center's observation teams have made a difference. View map >
David Carroll reflects on the Center's contributions to the field of election observation. Read Q&A >
"Beyond the White House"
Jimmy Carter recalls a dangerous first election mission to Guyana in 1992. Read excerpt >