Remarks at the Election Night Event

Remarks by Ambassador Colleen Bell

at the Election Night Event

November 8, 2016

– as prepared –

Jó estét kívánok!

Thank you very much, Willie, for the introduction.

It is my great pleasure to join all of you for this amazing event.  At the start, I would like to thank President Pongrácz and his team at AmCham for once again working with the American Embassy to create a fantastic evening for all of us.  Doesn’t this room look incredible?

Tonight, we are here to celebrate Americans going to the polls, exercising the simple, but extraordinary, right to vote.  As many of you know, the U.S. Constitution provides for presidential elections every four years and establishes the basis for our representative democracy.

However, this election consists of more races beyond the presidency.  An estimated 130 million Americans will also vote on 435 House seats, 34 Senate seats, 12 Governors offices, and multiple state legislatures.

Of course, as we have seen in this election season, Americans do hold many different views and there has been a very robust debate in the country about our future.  As Woodrow Wilson remarked, democracy “releases the energy of every human being.”  But now the arguments have been made, the campaigning has come to an end, and the votes are being cast. And despite this spirited political debate, the final outcome of our elections has always been respected because of our shared belief in the strength of democracy.

As we eagerly await tonight’s results, please enjoy the many activities to help generate the true spirit of this important democratic event.  And please share your experience with others through social media using the hashtag #ElectionNightHU.  As for me, I will happily vote in tonight’s mock election, but I will not reveal my choice!

And regardless of tonight’s winners, tomorrow morning the Embassy staff and I will continue our business of representing the United States and strengthening our relationship with Hungary.

Thank you very much for coming and please enjoy the evening!