A constant during my four decades working in international development has been our government’s strong support for elections in weak or troubled democracies. Our exhortation is always that elections be “free and fair” and that final results be respected by all parties.
The United States and the international community promote transparency and confidence in the outcome of elections through financial support to international electoral observation by organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization of American States. The intent of our collective effort is to make clear to governments and citizens that the world is watching. The observers have no power to stop government attempts to intimidate the press, carry out voter suppression or misuse government resources, but they can impartially and credibly report shortcomings to the host country and the world.
I never dreamed that I would wish for international electoral observers in our own country — unimaginable. But now, as the president and his enablers work tirelessly to sow doubt about the results of our upcoming election, it sure would be great if the UN, the EU and the OAS would send us electoral observers to ensure that our election is “free and fair.”
Miguel Reabold, Sequim