Why the 2020 Election Was Neither Free nor Fair

by Joel B. Pollak
Real Clear Politics

The 2020 presidential election was neither free nor fair.

Much of the debate has focused on the question of “voter fraud” — whether alleged violations of the rules moved enough votes in key states to overturn the outcome, or whether speculative theories about hacked voting machines and software should be taken seriously. These claims remain unproven.

But while voting is the most important event in an election, it is not the only event, but the culmination of a process.

There are common international standards about what makes an election “free and fair.” These criteria, summarized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, include: the “absolute” right to a secret ballot; the right to “express political opinions without interference; [t]o seek, receive and impart information and to make an informed choice”; the right of candidates to “equal opportunity of access to the media”; the “right of candidates to security”; freedom of association, and others.

Many of these were violated in 2020.

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