International Observers may have stolen the thunder from Donald Trump’s protests over the conduct of last week’s presidential polls in the country. Although a number of developments have occurred since the report, it seems a major turn for the credibility of the coming Biden presidency. This is more so that this is the second of such a report, the first thumbs up for the election having come from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, (OSCE).
If nothing else, the report gives credence to what observers are interpreting as US leaders behaving like ‘Third World’ leaders who cry foul after losing elections. The US which has been sending observer missions to other countries to preach the virtues of democracy is now receiving such preachments even if in muted voices mostly.
A team of international observers invited by the Trump administration has issued a preliminary report giving high marks to the conduct of last week’s elections–and it criticizes President Trump for making baseless allegations that the outcome resulted from systematic fraud.
A 28-member delegation from the Organization of American States followed events in several locations across the U.S., including in the battleground states of Georgia and Michigan, both remotely and with observers at polling stations and counting centers.
“While the OAS Mission has not directly observed any serious irregularities that call into question the results so far, it supports the right of all contesting parties in an election, to seek redress before the competent legal authorities when they believe they have been wronged,” the report said. “It is critical however, that candidates act responsibly by presenting and arguing legitimate claims before the courts, not unsubstantiated or harmful speculation in the public media.”
The OAS assessment followed similar findings by an election observation team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
“Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions,” Michael Georg Link, leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission, said last week.
The 20-OAS page report praised state and local officials for efforts to facilitate voting during the coronavirus pandemic and, while it had numerous recommendations for improving the elections system, found no evidence of the pervasive fraud that Mr. Trump, who has not conceded the presidential election, has insisted caused his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
The report noted: ‘”In his statement the Republican candidate cast further aspersions on the US electoral process, stating that ‘This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election. They’re trying to rig an election and we can’t let that happen.’ The OAS observers deployed in the battleground states of Michigan and Georgia did not witness any of the aforementioned irregularities.”’
Led by OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro, the 28-member team included specialists and observers from 13 countries. The OAS routinely sends missions to report independently on elections in member states; this year alone, its observers have filed reports from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Peru and Suriname.
The State Department invited the OAS to send in its team in October, and observers remained in place from Oct. 23 to Nov. 7.
“On Election Day, the members of the Mission were present at polling places in Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and the District of Columbia, and observed the process from the opening of the polling centers through to the close of polls and the deposit of voting materials with the appropriate local authorities,” the report said. “Members of the Mission also visited tabulations centers to observe the tallying of result. In the jurisdictions that it observed, the Mission found that the day progressed in a peaceful manner.”
The Mission notes that attempts by members of the public to ‘stop the count,’ in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona, “were clear examples of intimidation of electoral officials.”
A more detailed final report is forthcoming, the OAS said.