For the first time ever the Carter Center will monitor an American election
ATLANTA - The Carter Center will make history by monitoring - for the first time ever - an American election process.
Former President Jimmy Carter's Democracy Program has monitored elections in struggling democratic nations around the globe. But due to what they call a lack of trust in the election process, the program will be monitoring Georgia's recount.
For 31 years, in 39 countries former president Jimmy Carter and his Democracy Program have monitored elections as far away as Africa, to Latin American to Southeast Asia.
Since 1989, he and his team have watched over everything from voter election laws, to voter registration, and finally the casting and counting of ballots in countries struggling to build democracies.
Now, for the first time ever, the Carter Center is observing an American election. We watched as two Carter Center employees watched the hand counting of paper ballots in Clayton County.
The contentious, razor-thin race ended with Joe Biden declared the winner.
But, President Donald Trump despite the electoral vote in Biden's favor - declared himself the winner, refusing to concede, and filing legal challenges across the country.
"We were frankly quite troubled by the lack of trust and doubts about that the process would be credible and the results would be accepted," said David Carroll.
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Carroll is the director of the Carter Center Democracy Program. He points to the current distrust in the election process and the Program's interest in how Georgia conducts this new hand-counting audit of 5 million paper ballots.
He says the combination brought the Democracy Program from its familiar role overseeing elections in emerging democracies abroad, to an unfamiliar role of observing a presidential election recount on American soil.
"It is an indication of how difficult it has become in this country to have elections that are, that enjoy popular trust and credibility," said Carroll.
"There's a lot of eyes on Georgia right now. Georgia is at the center of the country, maybe even the world," said Jake Evans.
Evans, a Republican election lawyer and member of the Secretary of State's election task force welcomes the Carter Center's observers, but wonders how it may look to those on the outside looking in.
"The Carter center has to be mindful of the optics and the potential implications given their primary priorities, said Evans.
Both Jake Evans and David Carroll hope the work done over the next few days will put voter's minds at ease that the election in Georgia was fair, fraud-free, and accurate.