US: Protecting the Vote and 2020 Election Security

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A voter wearing a mask to protect against coronavirus lines up at Riverside High School for the Wisconsin primary election on April 7, 2020, in Milwaukee.
© 2020 AP Photo/Morry Gash

Concerns expressed by government authorities, rights groups, and security analysts about possible intimidation and violence around the United States general election on November 3, 2020 are the topic of a question-and-answer document that Human Rights Watch released today.

The Q&A on “Protecting the Vote from Security Risks in the US 2020 Elections” addresses security challenges that may arise in advance of, on, or after voting day. It describes the international legal obligations of federal, state, and local authorities to prevent intimidation and violence during elections.

“While possible election-related intimidation or violence can’t be ignored, the authorities in the US have the tools to protect voters,” said Letta Tayler, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Everyone has the right to vote free of fear and harm.”