One Big Thing: The Iowa Caucus and Freedom around the World
Exercise your right to vote and register here!
What you need to know:
- The U.S. presidential elections kick off today in Iowa at more than 1,600 sites across the state. While Iowa represents only 2% of delegates needed to win the nomination, the Caucus serves as an indicator of how a presidential candidate may do in later contests.
- Currently, seven Democratic candidates are mounting competitive campaigns in Iowa while President Trump is expected to win the Republican caucuses handily.
- While there is some concern about the security of American elections, U.S. elections remain widely free, accessible and transparent. However, many places around the world have far from free election systems. Authoritarian regimes continue to attempt to influence election systems in their favor as seen in the 2018 Cambodian election. While last month’s Taiwanese election had the appearances of being free of Chinese interference, it is still worth keeping an eye on the Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Elections in September.
Why does it matter?
- Free and fair elections are crucial to the quality of a country’s governance and can drastically alter a country’s democratic development, domestic governance, and foreign policy priorities. To make this happen, elections systems must be transparent, inclusive, and accountable.
- The 2019 Freedom in the World Report points out that freedom in in world continues to decline. A less free world will have a lasting impact on the United States through the lens of security, the economy and politics.
What can you do?
- Participate! Register to vote in the upcoming presidential election HERE
- Check out on upcoming international elections via NDI’s election calendar
- Keep an eye on the Iowa Caucus’ results and tune into the New Hampshire debate on February 7
Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images
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