Invitation to Observe November 2020 General Elections in the United States

American Flag flying (AP Images)

Invitation to Observe November 3 General Elections in the United States

As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Macris
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
March 5, 2020

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

On November 3, millions of U.S. citizens will exercise their right to vote in general elections. We will cast our ballots for the office of the President, as well as for all 435 U.S. House of Representative seats, 35 U.S. Senate seats, 13 state and territorial governorships, and numerous other state and local offices.

On behalf of the government of the United States, I wish to take this opportunity before the Permanent Council to extend an invitation to OSCE participating States to observe these elections.

We are proud of our democratic institutions, and we welcome the observation of U.S. elections. We have sent letters to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) inviting them to do so. We also have invited ODIHR to conduct a Needs Assessment Mission to the United States in preparation for a possible OSCE observation mission.

Within the United States’ federal system of government, the responsibility for organizing elections falls largely with state and local governments. The Department of State therefore will facilitate the Needs Assessment Mission and, any subsequent election observation mission and assist ODIHR in its efforts to contact state and local elections officials throughout the United States to facilitate the OSCE’s election observation.

The United States places a high value on the OSCE’s important work promoting free and fair elections throughout the OSCE region. We welcome OSCE observation of our elections as an opportunity to demonstrate the United States’ respect for its relevant international obligations and OSCE commitments.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.