Democratic voice must be heard in US election

04/11/2020

US elections 2020 - Biden-Trump

US elections 2020: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Donald Trump doing public appearance during the election night. Photo: Belga images

All valid votes must be counted before a result is declared in the United States’ presidential election – the Rule of Law and democratic standards must prevail, the Party of European Socialists said today.

President Trump has prematurely claimed victory on election night even though millions of mail-in ballots are yet to be counted.

The PES and democrats across the world fear the US President will now use the power of his office to halt ongoing vote counts, subverting democracy in favour of pursuing victory through the conservative majority in the Supreme Court. 

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“The USA holds itself up as a democratic standard-bearer. Now the whole world is witnessing the American president breaking the rules of democracy himself. This is what Donald Trump is doing, claiming victory much in advance of the official vote count in a significant number of states.

“We can understand the frustration of millions of people in the US and in Europe who care for climate change, human rights, democracy, free trade, transatlantic cooperation.  But putting American democracy and rule of law under a stress test, as Donald Trump is doing now, will have heavier consequences for democracy itself.

“The eyes of the world are on the United States. It has always been a valued partner for Europe. But the USA is now in danger of abandoning democracy and the Rule of Law, and we condemn that in the strongest possible terms.”

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in early voting in the US - more than 99 million Americans voted by mail ahead of election day. Turnout is up, at more than 65% - the highest in a century.

Democratic contender Joe Biden scored victories in a number of key states, but the result in a handful of others remains unclear as vote counting continues. These votes must be recorded before a result can be declared.