Invitation to Observe November 4 General Election in the United States

As delivered to the Permanent Council by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer,

Vienna, March 13, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, millions of Americans will exercise their right to vote in mid-term elections. They will elect all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 33 U.S. Senators, 34 state governors, as well as many state legislators, city mayors, and other officials.

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

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

Within the United States’ federal system of government, the responsibility for organizing elections rests with state and local governments.  The Department of State will therefore facilitate the Needs Assessment Mission and 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 election observation across the OSCE region from “Vancouver to Vladivostok.”  We therefore welcome the presence of the OSCE to observe our elections from Kailua, Hawaii to Key West, Florida as an opportunity to demonstrate the United States’ dedication to its OSCE commitments.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.