American University established a Center for Democracy and Election Management to provide education, research, and public engagement on the full range of democracy issues in the United States and the world. Read more...

Jimmy Carter at AU
Jimmy Carter addresses AU students on federal election reform, September 2005.



2009 Election Management Institute: Best Practices in Election Management and Observation

New Dates : December 1-12, 2009 (2 weeks with an option of participation in only the first week of institute).

Cost: $1,980 for applications received by November 1, 2009 and $2,180 for applications received after November 1, 2009 (the cost covers all institute expenses including lunches; excludes travel to and from and living costs in Washington, D.C.)

The program is intended to provide hands-on, practical training to improve and promote best practices in election management and observation. The program is designed to offer election practitioners the possibility to hone their electoral skills by participating in workshops offered by renowned electoral academics and experts, and visit relevant electoral institutions in the Washington, D.C., area, New York and Maryland. The program takes place at American University and in the Washington, D.C., area.

Program agenda available here. Press release available here.


CDEM Organizes Study Tour of Indonesian Presidential Election for the Gulf States' Election Officials

The Study Tour of Presidential Election in Indonesia took place between July 5-10, including participants from Yemen, Qatar and Bahrain.

Study Tour participants observe the election in Indonesia.

All participants received training in observation procedures, election procedures, and a general orientation. The participants met with the representatives of KIPP, the largest domestic observation network, the International Foundation for Election Systems and the Indonesian Electoral Commission.

On Election Day, the group was split into several smaller groups and visited different polling stations completing observer forms for each location visited. Initial impressions shared during the election debrief on July 9 indicate that this was an extremely interesting and useful experience. Participants commented on the simplicity of the procedures, good organization and were surprised by the differences with their own elections, such as outdoor polling locations and short polling hours.

The Study Tour is as a part of the Gulf States Electoral Initiative Project funded by the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative.

The agenda for the Study Tour is available here in English and here in Arabic. The final report for the Study Tour is available here.


CDEM Institute Participants Play a Key Role in Kuwait's Parliamentary Elections

Dr. Salwa al-Jassar, second from the left, with participants of CDEM's winter 2007 election institute at American University.

Following the successful conduct of the elections for Kuwaiti Parliament  held on May 16, 2009, the Center for Democracy and Election Management (CDEM) is happy to announce that three of its election management institute participants played a key role.

Dr. Salwa al-Jassar, a participant in CDEM's winter 2007 election institute, was one of the four women to win a seat in the parliament. This is the first time Kuwaitis have elected women as parliament members. Two hundred and ten candidates ran for 50 parliamentary seats in the election and 16 of them were women.

Mr. Dhari Aljutaili, a participant in the 2008 summer election institute, headed the public relations team for Aseel al-Awadhi, another woman candidate elected.

In addition, Mr. Abdulrahman Alanjiri, a participant in the summer 2008 election institute, took fifth place in the elections and won a seat in parliament as well.

American University's Professor and CDEM institutes' contributor Kristin Diwan was in Kuwait to observe and study the election process.

CDEM's election institutes were made possible with the generous support of the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative.

For further information please contact CDEM at cdem@american.edu or at 202.885.1426.


CDEM Hosts Regional Conference for Gulf Election Officials in Kuwait

In response to a need identified by election officials and election partners in the Gulf region, American University's Center for Democracy and Election Management (CDEM) convened a conference in Kuwait on February 15 and 16, 2009, to explore establishment of a regional association of Gulf election officials.

CDEM Hosts Regional Conference for Gulf Election Officials in Kuwait in February 2009.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State's Middle East Partnership Initiative, the conference provided an opportunity for wide-ranging discussions on regional electoral cooperation that could serve as a platform for improved professional development, networking, data sharing and promotion of electoral best practices and procedures.

Following from the conference, CDEM has begun preliminary work to coordinate a week-long study tour to India during that nation's upcoming national elections which will span a period of several weeks during April-May 2009.

For more information about the conference, please contact CDEM Associate Director, Tihana B. Blanc at bartulac@american.edu.

To see a copy of CDEM's press release, click here


CDEM Activities

  Education   Research & Publications   Upcoming Events  

Register for SPA's Fall 2009 course "Public Management of Elections" (PUAD-696-002) taught by CDEM's Doctoral Fellow, Vassia Stoilov. This course looks at the conduct of elections in the U.S.and places the analysis of the issues and problems in election management in the context of public administration theories and concepts. For more information about the course and syllabus, please contact vg1630a@student.american.edu.


On July 15, 2009, CDEM released new reports on the state of electoral reform in the fifty U.S. states. The reports were presented at the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) 2009 annual Legislative Summit in Philadelphia on July 20, 2009. The reports can be found here.


CDEM will host an event on Youth Participation in the 2008 elections on March 25, 2009 from 11:30 to 1:00pm at American University (MGC 247). More information.