/ U.S. elections – fair and free?

The 2020 U.S. presidential election was a historic one in many respects. Republicans and Democrats were more divided along ideological lines than at any point in the last two decades, and there was a great desire by the population’s to shape the future. In the weeks leading up to November 3, there were already signs of record-breaking voter turnout. There was often talk, especially in the media, of a fateful election, of the most consequential election in recent decades, or even of an election that would serve as a stress test for democracy.

In a web-talk with Claus Gramckow, Head of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation North America Regional Office in Washington, D.C., Michael Link, Chief of the OSCE Election Observation Mission for the U.S. elections and member of the Management Board of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, spoke about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. Were the elections in the U.S. free and fair or did 'voter suppression' occur? Link described the mood in the country as 'tense', and noted that he had never seen the US so divided during any of his numerous visits. Link emphasised that he and the other international election observers viewed the election neutrally and that election observation is more a science than political advocacy. His team also clearly criticised Trump’s statement on election night that the vote count should be stopped. Despite falling within the team‘s objective mission, the criticism was picked up by the American media. Link summarised,

// There are problems of an administrative and social nature, but one cannot speak of any political manipulation of the election.

Check out the video to learn more about how his mission tested the fairness of the election.

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