The United States International Center for Electoral Support (USICES) invited Chairperson, Commissioners, senior level officials from Election Management Bodies as well as Senators and MPs in Africa to observe the conduct of the U.S. midterm election of November 6, 2018. Ten countries including Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Cameroon were represented in the team of observers. The team was coordinated by USICES Executive Director, Henry Atem. The team observers had a preliminary briefing on November 5, 2018 from Mr. Jared DeMarinis, Director – Division of Candidacy and Campaign Finance at the Maryland State Board of Elections and Ms. Linda Johnson from the DC Board of Elections.
On Election Day, the team divided in two groups visited 9 polling locations each to observe, the opening of the polls, voting operations, and the closing of the polls including counting. During a debriefing session, observers by country presented reports on their observation, lessons learnt, as well as aspects that can contextually be implemented in their home countries. The presentations received contributions from other countries to ensure the effectiveness in the application of lessons learnt. The program provided participating EMBs with the opportunity to acquire tools and create networks to foster the professional conduct of elections. The uniqueness of U.S. election was equally displayed as observers witnessed the decentralized and autonomous nature with which elections in the United States are organized and administered.