FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 4, 2016
Stein/Baraka Campaign Welcomes International Election Observers, Calls for Protection and Accountability Against Voter Suppression & Irregularities
Today, following an invitation to observe the U.S. elections and a mandate from a Needs Assessment Mission conducted earlier this year, a group of 400+ international election observers will arrive in the United States on an Election Observation Mission undertaken by the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
The Stein/Baraka campaign welcomes these observers amidst one of the most controversial and bitterly contested elections in recent memory, and praises the OSCE/ODIHR’s efforts to provide measures of accountability for U.S. elections. The campaign has recently called public attention to several practices that are of concern in regards to compliance with international standards for democracy and election integrity, including:
- Prohibitive ballot access requirements that restrict the ability of independent parties with limited resources to gain ballot lines in many states
- Extremely unbalanced media coverage that impose an effective media blackout on political competition to the two dominant parties, including the use of dishonest smear tactics and disinformation campaigns against independent party candidates
- Misleading poll methodologies that systematically undersample young voters as well as independents, who now comprise the largest block of registered voters
- Legislative acts that result in voter suppression, especially of minority voters – including voter ID laws, the reduction of early voting periods, the redlining of polling sites to avoid college campuses and minority communities, the elimination of same-day registration, and “interstate crosscheck” laws that could disenfranchise up to 7.2 million voters – many of them people of color – by de-registering them from voter rolls
- Threats of voter intimidation at polling locations, especially on the part of partisan Donald Trump supporters against minority voters
- Use of privately owned and developed voting machine technologies that have proven repeatedly, under independent scrutiny, to be easily vulnerable to vote tampering. Private for-profit corporations that register voters, control voter databases, count and report the vote with secret proprietary software and zero transparency, accountability, or recourse present serious threats to U.S. election systems.
Key figures in the Stein/Baraka campaign have been, and continue to be, outspoken on election issues that represent serious barriers to the exercise of democracy in the United States. Campaign manager David Cobb, a lawyer and 2004 Green Party candidate for President who spearheaded a demand for a recount in the state of Ohio in the 2004 election, will represent the Stein/Baraka campaign in an OSCE briefing forum to be held in Washington, DC on November 6th.
“This election cycle demonstrated just how profoundly undemocratic US elections really are,” said Cobb. “US voters are losing confidence in our own government, and losing confidence in the integrity of our elections. I will be providing first-hand knowledge about ‘What Went Wrong in Ohio’ in 2004, as well as the what went wrong in 2016. Alternative political parties have historically played a vital role in the US– championing the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, the 40 hour work week, ending child labor, pure food and drug laws, Social Security, worker’s compensation, the direct election of the US Senate. Today, the US election system is not merely designed to prevent the success of alternative political parties bringing new ideas forward. This system is designed to prevent our existence,” he added.
“A Stein/Baraka administration will propose federal legislation providing for universal national voter registration, ballot access and election procedures,” said Dr. Jill Stein, 2016 Green Party nominee for President. “It is vital to the integrity of our elections and our democracy that every voter be able to cast a meaningful vote, and to have that vote counted. We call on all parties and presidential campaigns, including both Trump and Clinton, to join our call for verified election results today. We also call for immediate steps to implement ranked-choice voting, known and used throughout the world as instant run-off voting, to take intimidation and fear out of voting in U.S. elections. We also call for the creation of an independent “Citizens Debate Commission to replace the phony ‘Commission’ controlled by Democratic and Republican party operatives,” she said.
The Stein/Baraka campaign has urged voters who encounter voting irregularities to report these instances to national hotlines, as well as on their website at http://jill2016.com/votingproblems.