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At the invitation of the Cherokee Nation Election Commission, The Carter Center will deploy a small observation mission for the Sept. 24, 2011, special election for principal chief. Carter Center observers will interview the election commission, political contestants, and others to assess the electoral process. In addition, the Center will observe early voting, as well as election day polling, counting, and tabulation processes.
"The June election for Cherokee Nation Principal Chief and its aftermath created uncertainty about the process," said Avery Davis-Roberts, assistant director of the Carter Center's Democracy Program. "The Carter Center hopes that our mission to observe the September special election will reassure Cherokee voters, and will help to strengthen the efforts of the election commission, Tribal Council, political contestants, and civil society to ensure the integrity of future elections."
The Carter Center previously observed the 1999 elections in the Cherokee Nation. Carter Center election observation missions are conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct that was adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and has been endorsed by 37 election observation groups. The Center assesses the electoral process based on the Cherokee Nation legal framework and international obligations and best practices for democratic elections.
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A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.