OSCE observers of 2020 elections discuss findings with members of US Delegation

Link and Henriksen US EOMMichael Georg Link and Kari Henriksen in Washington, 1 Nov. 2020COPENHAGEN, 20 May 2021 – Members of the US Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly met Wednesday with leaders of the international election observation mission to the 2020 general elections in the United States to follow up on the observations and recommendations stemming from the mission.

Michael Georg Link (Germany), who served as Special Co-ordinator of the short-term observers, and Kari Henriksen (Norway), who headed the OSCE PA observer mission, met online with US Helsinki Commission Chairman Senator Ben Cardin, who serves as Head of the US Delegation to the OSCE PA, and Commissioners Richard Hudson and Marc Veasey.

The parliamentarians particularly discussed recommendations issued by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in its final report of 9 February 2021.

“The open approach of our American counterparts to considering follow-up to OSCE recommendations is very important. This shows real leadership,” said Link. “Our November statement points to some important and difficult issues that should be addressed, and we look forward to seeing how we can contribute to this in the future. The strong bipartisan support for the OSCE and our election observation within the Helsinki Commission is greatly appreciated.”

Expressing hope that the discussion could serve as a model for other OSCE participating States to engage in follow-up on election observation recommendations, participants touched on a range of issues such as voting rights, voter identification, campaign financing, and the important role of international observation in the United States, including the importance of ensuring full access for international observers deploying to US states, as well as the prospects for recommendation implementation.

The international election observation mission for the 2020 general elections in the United States totaled 102 observers from 39 countries, made up of 50 ODIHR-deployed experts and observers, and 52 parliamentarians and staff from the OSCE PA. The mission noted that the election was hard-fought and competitive with a high degree of engagement by election workers and citizens in the face of great legal uncertainty and a highly polarized political environment fueled by aggressive campaign rhetoric.



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