Applying International Standards to the US 2020 Elections

Applying International Standards to the US 2020 Elections. By Tim Meisburger.

A strong argument can be made that this was a failed election because it did not meet the minimal standard of ensuring the perception of legitimacy among a large portion of the population…

Politicized Bureaucracy: When looking at the environment for elections, international observers try to determine if there is evidence of a politicized bureaucracy; that is, a bureaucracy that is composed almost entirely of representatives of one party or faction. If this exists, there is a presumption of bias, and efforts are made to depoliticize the bureaucracy, and ensure safeguards are in place to prevent the bureaucracy from suppressing other political parties, and manipulating election processes. …

Media and Voter Education: … Unfortunately, multinational and monopolistic corporations have captured most of the media in the United States, including the increasingly important social and entertainment media. Their global perspective aligns most closely with one party, and, with the support of their allies in the bureaucracy, these oligarchs feel increasingly free to shape their reporting and messages towards the party line. Obvious untruths (like the Charlottesville “very fine people” hoax) are promoted, true information (like the suspicious business activities of a presidential candidate and his son) is hidden or ignored, and the political speech of opponents and ordinary citizens is openly suppressed.

Disinformation, propaganda, and lying (by commission or omission) by the establishment media resulted in many voters lacking the information they needed to make an informed choice on election day in 2020. From an international standards perspective, monopoly control of media by one party is an indication of an environment not conducive to free and fair elections.

Violence and Intimidation: … Domestically, the United States has seen a huge increase in politically motivated violence and intimidation since the 2016 election. The violence began with unmotivated attacks on people wearing political hats, or with bumper stickers on their cars, and intensified when gangs of youths wearing black masks began attacking speakers and their supporters on college campuses. Later, these same thugs rioted in urban centers, hunting down and beating up anyone suspected of harboring opposing political views.

The violence and intimidation also occurred online. For the first time, a major American political party had come out against free speech, arguing that politically incorrect opinions constituted “hate speech” that should be criminalized. While the blackshirt thugs attempted to enforce these ill-defined speech codes in the street, their more sedentary allies had potentially far greater negative impact doxxing or canceling anyone who dared express disfavored opinions online.

Intimidation and threats of violence were effective, and in the 2020 elections vast areas of the country had no bumper stickers or yard signs for one party. In my neighborhood (Falls Church, Va.), I asked the local party chair for a yard sign and was told they were not distributing them because they might be used to target party members for violent attacks, keying cars, or burning houses. It is commonly acknowledged that in the United States in 2020, most people did not feel free to openly express their political opinions. …

Ballot Box Stuffing: .. Following the November 3, 2020 elections there were numerous reports of ballot box stuffing. One truck driver swore an affidavit that he picked up large crates of ballots in New York and delivered them to a polling location in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania a polling worker is alleged to have used an unsecured USB flash drive to load a large cache of votes onto vote tabulation machines that did not correlate with the mail-in ballots scanned into the machines. In Wisconsin, poll workers were observed running ballots through tabulation machines more than once, and in Wayne County, Michigan, poll watchers observed canvassers re-scanning batches of ballots through vote tabulation machines up to three or four times.

In another incident at a counting center located at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia supervisors told poll watchers, observers, and media that counting would be suspended due to a water leak, but after the room was cleared, several election officials pulled out large boxes of ballots from underneath a draped table and proceeded to feed those votes into the counting machines. This was all caught on video, and a surge in votes for one candidate could be seen after these votes were processed.

Some officials and their allies in the media suggested it is perfectly acceptable to count ballots in the absence of observers, but it is an international best practice to only count in the presence of observers (in some countries it is required that observers be present). If observers are intentionally sent out of a counting center, or prevented from effective observation in any other way, that is seen as evidence of malpractice, and reason enough for an international observation mission to state they are unable to validate the election process. …

In-Person Observation: … International standards require that observers be allowed to witness all aspects of the process …

The 2020 U.S. elections were riddled with instances of suppression of legal observation. In Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, poll watchers and observers were denied entry to ballot counting centers by judges of elections and other poll workers, despite presenting proper certification and identification. In Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, poll watchers were forced inside confined areas, limiting their view. …

Across these four battleground states, poll watchers were directed to stand at unreasonably lengthy distances from ballot counters. In Michigan, poll workers put poster boards over the windows of the room where ballots were being processed and counted so as to block the view. In Pennsylvania, tens of thousands of ballots were processed in back rooms where poll observers were prohibited from being able to observe at all.

Read it all. By international standards, that was not a fair election. Not even close. It has all the hallmarks of being rigged.