WARSAW, February 9. /TASS/. Although the 2020 general elections in the United States were highly competitive and well-managed, claims of electoral fraud undermined the trust of US voters, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said in a report, published on Tuesday.
"The general elections in the United States of America were highly competitive and well managed in spite of the legal uncertainties and logistical challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Aggressive rhetoric and unsubstantiated claims about election fraud reduced public trust in the process. However, formal procedures put in place ahead of the election, together with committed civic engagement, led to high voter participation despite the many challenges," the report says.
The document contains 38 recommendations for improving the election process in the US and for bringing it into compliance with OSCE requirements and other international commitments and standards.
Among other things, ODIHR recommends that US authorities review the Electoral College system to ensure respect for the principle of equality, introduce safeguards to prevent legal changes that could be discriminatory or have a negative impact on racial and linguistic minorities and ensure that all people with criminal convictions regain their voting rights upon completion of their sentences.
The recommendations also include reducing the numbers of voters who remain unregistered, ensuring that voter identification requirements are equally accessible to all voters and creating rules for basic electoral procedures at the federal level (including time limits for voter registration, early voting deadlines and procedures, rights of observers and deadlines for settling pre-and post-election lawsuits).
Apart from that, OSCE ODIHR requested public officials, political parties, their candidates and supporters to refrain from using inflammatory or discriminatory rhetoric. Also, according to ODIHR observers, the United States needs to ratify the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to better protect and promote voting rights.