In recent years, claims on invalid elections have been a major source of conflict. In the USA, claims on "stolen elections" have almost started a civil war. In Ukraine, one claim used by Russia to justify its invasion is that the current regime is a "puppet regime", that is, the elections by which it was chosen were not valid and do not represent the will of the people.

As long as there is an option of stealing an election, every country can claim that the elections in its neigbour were "stolen", and by this, justify invasion in order to "restore democracy".

Question: is there a process by which a country can conduct democratic elections, such that the election results would be internationally recognizable as valid, and there could be no claim of stealing elections? I am considering not only technological means (e.g. cryptographic elections) but also procedural means, such as supervision by impartial parties.

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    People are free to make claims of stolen elections without evidence and there is little that can be done to stop them. There are many ways to hold a fair election and there is no evidence that the US election was stolen or that the Ukraine is a "puppet regime" or that it should be invaded because of that.
    – Joe W
    Mar 5, 2022 at 18:14
  • @JoeW I agree that there is no evidence, but many people still believe it. I am asking whether there is a process that is so transparent, that no one could believe it was stolen. Mar 6, 2022 at 6:00
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    Considering that people where claiming the election in the US was stolen over a year before it took place I don't see how that would be possible.
    – Joe W
    Mar 6, 2022 at 6:01
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    Contemporaries in the 19th century would probably say that claims of a stolen election literally started a civil war so you might want to clarify that you're talking about the capital riot, which likely had no chance for this to happen compared to the 1860 election.
    – uberhaxed
    Mar 7, 2022 at 6:46
  • "and there is no evidence that the US election was stolen" - Now the election before that, on the other hand...
    – Vikki
    Mar 20, 2022 at 10:08

1 Answer 1


While democratic elections can differ in many details, there is a widely accepted set of standards applied e.g. by the OSCE election monitors. They are routinely reporting on elections in various countries, and usually produce a set of suggestions for improvements. If you look at the assessment e.g. for Russia, Canada, and Iceland, you will find a vast difference in tone and conclusions, from 'we don't detailed monitoring, but you shoud look into campaign finance transparency and a few other things' to 'we need 500 watchers.'


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