Democracy Volunteers receives no state funding and all our observers give their time voluntarily. They attend elections either with the funding of the organisation’s grants or at their own cost if it is in their local area or on one of our international observations. We receive regular support through personal donations from our supporters as well as individual fund raising events by Democracy Volunteers and individual supporters. We have also received support through grants and work undertaken.
From 2017 to 2024, The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd. has awarded us grants for our project to assess access to voting and electoral fraud in the local elections in which we assess family voting. Our work has also focused on assessing and ameliorating the potentially negative impacts of the requirement for the use of ID to vote. Current funding from the Trust will help Democracy Volunteers deploy observers across the UK until, and including, the likely 2024 UK Westminster General Election.
In 2019, The Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust Ltd., awarded us a grant for our project to assess family voting in the UK. This allowed us to continue to inform Government on challenges to the secret ballot in the UK. We are grateful to the trustees for their support in our work for the May local elections.
In 2018 and 2019, Democracy Volunteers hosted a team of international election observers from Eastern Europe, funded by the International Elections Study Centre, based in Vilnius, Lithuania. The observers attended a series of meetings with election authorities and attended polling stations for the local elections on May 3rd in 2018 and the General Election in 2019.
In 2021 and also in 2022, we created several new paid internships with the Universities of Liverpool and Exeter. These were financed by the Access to Internship programme at Exeter University and the Employer Connections, Careers & Employability programme at Liverpool University.