Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch
The polls across the United States have finally closed. Everyone has voted. Now it’s time to ensure that every vote counts. We all know the risks. There’s the possibility that one candidate might declare victory prematurely. Or that he might try to delegitimize some aspect of the election by making unfounded claims. Those risks increase if the vote tally varies as election officials apply state rules about which type of ballot to count first. Leaders of democracies around the world have an important role to play in guaranteeing that the ballot of every voter counts. Now autocrats might be perfectly happy to undermine democracy in the United States by welcoming a premature declaration of victory. But leaders who care about democracy should pay attention to what the voters want as determined under the election rules, rather than what the candidates say. If we all remain committed to democracy, we can achieve a fair result.