International election experts invited by the Trump administration to observe the U.S. election last week issued a preliminary report that found no evidence of the widespread fraud alleged by President Trump.
The State Department invited a 28-member delegation from the Organization of American States, which has reported on elections around the world, to observe the voting in the U.S. on Nov. 3.
Members of the OAS team were sent to battleground states such as Michigan and Georgia, where the Trump campaign has filed lawsuits alleging voter fraud, and noted in the report that it had “not directly observed any serious irregularities that call into question the results so far.”
“On Election Day, the members of the Mission were present at polling places in Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and the District of Columbia, and observed the process from the opening of the polling centers through to the close of polls and the deposit of voting materials with the appropriate local authorities,” the report states. “Members of the Mission also visited tabulations centers to observe the tallying of result. In the jurisdictions that it observed, the Mission found that the day progressed in a peaceful manner.”
The report did find “clear examples of intimidation of electoral officials” — by Trump supporters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona who unsuccessfully sought to halt the counting of votes.
The report also took aim at Trump himself for statements questioning the legitimacy of the vote, claiming that Democrats were trying to “steal” the election.
“In his statement the Republican candidate cast further aspersions on the US electoral process, stating that ‘This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election. They’re trying to rig an election and we can’t let that happen.’ The OAS observers deployed in the battleground states of Michigan and Georgia did not witness any of the aforementioned irregularities,” the report states.
While the report notes that it supported the right for Trump to “seek redress” in the courts for questionable election practices, it warns against promoting “unsubstantiated or harmful speculation.”
“While the OAS Mission has not directly observed any serious irregularities that call into question the results so far, it supports the right of all contesting parties in an election, to seek redress before the competent legal authorities when they believe they have been wronged,” the report states. “It is critical, however, that candidates act responsibly by presenting and arguing legitimate claims before the courts, not unsubstantiated or harmful speculation in the public media.”
On Oct. 21, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lavished praise on the OAS, which was marking its 50th anniversary overseeing democratic elections.
“Last January, I praised the OAS as an example of a multilateral organization that actually works,” Pompeo said. “It works because we share democratic values, and under your leadership, the OAS isn’t afraid to stand up for these values.”
On Tuesday, Pompeo was asked whether the State Department was proceeding with the transition to the Biden administration following Trump’s loss in the election.
“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo responded. “We’re ready. The world is watching what is taking place. We’re going to count all the votes. When the process is complete there will be electors selected. There’s a process in place; the Constitution lays it out pretty clearly.”
Pompeo did not mention the preliminary report issued by the OAS.
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