PRESS RELEASE from Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

OSCE/ODIHR opens mission to observe general elections in United States

WASHINGTON D.C., 9 October 2012 – The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR) today officially opened an election observation mission for the general elections to be held in the United States on 6 November.

The limited election observation mission's deployment follows an invitation from the authorities of the United States. As a participating State in the OSCE, the United States has committed itself to conducting elections in line with OSCE standards and inviting international election observers. ODIHR has assessed elections in the United States since 2002.

The mission is led by Ambassador Daan Everts and consists of 13 international experts based in Washington D.C. and 44 long-term observers to be deployed throughout the country. The observers are drawn from 23 OSCE participating States. The mission began its activities on 4 October.

Observers will assess these elections for compliance with international obligations and standards for democratic elections, including the commitments agreed to by all the OSCE participating States, and with national legislation. The mission will analyze the legislative framework and its implementation and will follow campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, including voter registration, and the resolution of election disputes. As part of its observation, the ODIHR mission will conduct comprehensive monitoring of the media.

The mission will meet with representatives from relevant federal and state authorities and political parties, as well as with candidates, and with representatives from the judiciary, civil society and the media.

In line with ODIHR’s methodology for limited election observation, the mission will not carry out systematic or comprehensive observation of the voting, counting, and tabulation on election day. Mission members will, however, visit a number of polling stations across the country to follow election day procedures.

A statement of preliminary findings and conclusions will be issued and presented to the public on the day after the election. A final report on the observation of the entire electoral process will be published approximately two months after the completion of the election process.

For further information, please contact Giovanna Maiola, EOM Media Analyst, at +1 202 215 2291 (mobile) or, or Richard Lappin, Election Advisor, at +48 601 998 790 (mobile) or

Please also consult the mission website at: