Carter Center Calls for Calm while Election Process Resolves

ATLANTA (Nov. 6, 2020) — The Carter Center urges both presidential candidates and Democrat and Republican party leaders to call for calm and patience while we wait for final vote tallies and the resolution of any ensuing recounts or lawsuits.

It is especially important that our political leaders model peaceful participation and avoid using polarizing rhetoric or spreading unsubstantiated claims.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed across the country that include a number of allegations. These lawsuits will take time to litigate. In addition, recounts may be requested or required in more than one state. Meanwhile, the likely narrow margins of victory in some states raise the possibility of rivaling celebratory and protest mobilizations – some already announced for the weekend. In this tense atmosphere, the risk of violence is high. It is important that everyone involved remain calm and civil.

The Carter Center has observed more than 110 elections and has made this call for calm in other elections around the world. In the 38 years we have monitored elections, prevented conflict, and promoted human rights and the rule of law around the world, we have learned that violence only aggravates political disputes. And once unleashed, it can spread like a virus.

“All Americans have a right and a responsibility to participate peacefully in our political processes – whether in elections or in protests,” said Jason Carter, chairman of the Carter Center’s Board of Trustees. “However, we must agree to live peaceably with all fellow Americans, despite our disagreements. We must respect the rule of law and know that the democratic process, including the court system, is the ultimate mechanism for resolving our disputes. Violence has no place in our elections or our politics.”


Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison, associate director of communications,

Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.