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ODIHR opens election observation mission in the United States

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WASHINGTON D.C., 30 September 2020 – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today opened an election observation mission for the 3 November general elections in the United States, following an invitation from the national authorities.

As one of the OSCE’s 57 participating States, the United States has committed itself to conducting elections in line with OSCE standards and inviting international election observers, and ODIHR has assessed elections in the country since 2002. This Limited Election Observation Mission is led by Ambassador Urszula Gacek and consists of 11 international experts based in Washington D.C. and 30 long-term observers from 13 OSCE countries, who will be deployed throughout the country.

The mission will assess to what extent the elections are held in line with international obligations and standards for democratic elections, including the commitments agreed to by all OSCE countries, as well as with national legislation. Observers will look closely at the legal framework and its implementation, and will follow campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, including voter registration, and the resolution of election disputes. Media monitoring will also form an integral part of the observation.

Meetings with representatives of federal and state authorities, political parties, as well as with representatives from the judiciary, civil society and the media will take place throughout the observation. On election day itself, the mission will join efforts with a delegation from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA).

The mission will publish an interim report during the course of its work. The day after the elections, a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions will be presented at a press conference. A final report summing up the observation of the entire electoral process will be published approximately two months after the election process has ended.

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