An international observer mission has reported that the US elections have been “tarnished” by legal uncertainty and Donald Trump’s “unprecedented attempts to undermine public trust.”

Iran Press/America: A preliminary report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) pointed to systemic weaknesses in US elections, as well as the stress imposed by the coronavirus pandemic and Trump’s calls for an end to vote counting in certain states based on false claims of fraud.

The OSCE report pointed to efforts at the state level to adjust voting procedures in light of the pandemic. Then the raft of legal challenges to those adjustments (overwhelmingly from Republicans), as a source of considerable confusion, came time to vote.

“There was an unprecedented volume of litigation over voting processes in the months before the elections, with over 400 lawsuits filed in 44 states, some still before the courts a few days before elections,” the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the organization’s parliamentary assembly report said. “The legal uncertainty caused by this ongoing litigation placed an undue burden on some voters wishing to cast their ballots and on election administration officials.”

"You have an incumbent who is doing something we’ve never seen before, casting doubt on the actual process, and making the way you cast your ballot also a political statement,” The head of the ODIHR mission, Polish diplomat Urszula Gacek, told the Guardian.

“Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions.”

The Trump campaign has demanded a recount in Wisconsin and filed lawsuits to halt counting in Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania after the President repeatedly claimed – without proof – that Biden's gains were the result of electoral fraud.

The tight contest reflects a deeply polarised nation struggling to respond to the worst health crisis in more than a century, which has combined with millions of job losses and reckoning on racial injustice.

Trump cried foul over the election results, falsely calling the process “a major fraud on our nation.” But there’s no evidence of foul play in the cliffhanger. He vowed to take the Supreme Court election and received criticism from conservative pundits after making his comments. The Biden campaign said it would fight any such efforts to stop the counting of votes.

In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Democratic US presidential nominee Joe Biden said: "I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners."

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