December 4, 2022

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MPs observe elections in the US

MPs observe elections in the US

From November 4-9, 2022, five MPs participated in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly election observation mission of the US midterm elections. These are members of the Senate Karimi (Delegation Leader, Groenlinks), Beukering (Nanninga Group) and Kerkens (SP) and the House of Representatives. Van Vineyards (VVD) and Wilders (PVV). With 132 OSCE Parliamentary Assembly observers from more than 30 countries, it is the largest election observation mission. On the sidelines of the monitoring mission, the delegation spoke with Netherlands Ambassador Andre Haspels.

Election day is November 8 Middle AgesVotes were cast for 435 members of the House of Representatives, 35 senators and 36 governors. Senator Karimi was part of the monitoring mission in New Hampshire, Congressman Van Wikgarten in Nevada, Congressman Beukering in California. Members Gergens and Wilders observed in New York. Members who attended the opening and closing of the polling stations visited different polling booths at different locations in between to get a better idea of ​​how the election was conducted.

Almost all the polling booths were pleasantly surprised to see the international visitors in attendance and eager to show how they want to ensure the best possible transparency of the voting process. In addition, interpreters were present at each polling station and accessibility for the disabled was guaranteed, even to special voting machines. They also said that the voter turnout was higher than expected. It is noteworthy that the police play an important role in the polling process. They bring the keys to open them and collect the results of their voting and bring them to a central point where the results of the individual polling stations are added together. One or more police officers can also be present at polling stations throughout the day to quickly intervene or call for help in case of problems. Although people were well prepared for possible incidents, these did not occur in any of the polling stations visited.

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The main findings of the OSCE PA were that elections were organized competitively and professionally, with active voter participation, but threats against election officials and attempts to undermine voter confidence in the electoral process. Candidates were free to campaign, but it was highly polarized. The OSCE PA report on the US midterm elections can be found here.

Ahead of Election Day, MPs attended the OSCE PA Conference on 5 and 6 November. It discussed the way elections are organized in the United States, how political parties and politicians are funded, how to vote, and what guarantees are in place to make elections as transparent as possible. The OSCE PA monitoring mission took place in nine different states. Notably, although the United States invited the OSCE PA to observe, this mission was not welcomed by every state. Dutch members observed in California, Nevada, New Hampshire and New York. On November 7, members were refreshed on the spot with special attention to the local context.