Observing elections to improve democracy
James Allen (Lead Observer) is a graduate of the University of Exeter in History. He now works for a national polling and research company. He has observed elections for the National Assembly for Wales in 2016, the US mid-term elections in 2014, the Scottish independence referendum 2014 and the Finland Presidential election in 2018. He co-produced the film Scotland Decides which followed the progress of the referendum in Scotland.
Lucrezia Aresi (Lead Observer) received here Masters degree from the Catholic University of Milan where she studied International and European Politics. She also has an Advanced Diploma in Effective Electoral Assistance. She has lived and worked in Eastern Europe and South America. As well as observing the UK General Election in 2017 she has observed for AEGEE in Estonia in 2015. She currently works as a freelance researcher for The Alpha Institute of Geopolitics and Intelligence.
Dr John Ault (Director) is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and has previously lectured at Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Manchester. He specialises in elections and campaigns. He has worked in elections throughout the UK and the United States. He has observed on behalf of the OSCE/ODIHR in parliamentary elections as far afield as Kazakhstan and is a former chair of the UK’s Electoral Reform Society.
Alex Ollington (Head of Operations) received both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Exeter studying International Relations. He has observed elections for the National Assembly for Wales in 2016, the UK General Election in 2017 as well as the Finnish Presidential election in 2018. As Head of Operations Alex plans the observation including all the advanced work on observer deployment.
Dr Leah Phillips (Conference Co-ordinator) is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Warwick and also co-organiser on “Adolescent Identities,” a UCL Grand Challenges project looking at representation in young adult literature. She has a special interest in programmes promoting citizenship, leadership, and global awareness – having attended several such events while growing up in the United States. She has worked on local and general elections in the UK.
Alex Rockey (Observer Coordinator) is an undergraduate student at the University of Exeter, currently studying Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University in Canberra. He observed the 2016 election for the National Assembly for Wales. He has also observed the Northern Ireland Assembly elections and UK general election in 2017. He has also observed numerous UK parliamentary by-elections
Joshua Wakeford (Media Officer) is currently an undergraduate student studying Politics and IR at the University of Manchester. In 2017, he observed both the UK General Election from Edinburgh and the Norwegian Elections in Oslo. He also observed the May local elections in May 2017 and in 2018 attended the Finnish Presidential elections. He is now the media officer for Democracy Volunteers liaising with media before, during and after elections.
Max Wheeler (Observer Training Manager) completed his MRes in History at the University of Exeter with a focus on regional politics in the Celtic Fringe. He has observed the National Assembly for Wales by-election in Ynys Môn in 2013 and the National Assembly for Wales Election in Cardiff in 2016. As Observer Trainer Max is responsible for mentoring new observers to the team and train them to identify different aspects of election activity.