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Europe to Monitor the US Election
an article by Robin

With all the doubts about whether the elections will be fair this fall, it may be important to have international election observers.

It was recently announced by the US State Department (according to a CNN story) that the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has been invited to monitor the US elections this fall. According to a statement from the OSCE, they have sent more than 10,000 personnel to monitor more than 150 elections and referenda in more than 30 countries during the past decade. This will be the first time they have monitored American elections, and they haven't yet decided how many monitors to send and how many places to observe.

According to the OSCE spokesperson, "The U.S. is obliged to invite us, as all OSCE countries should ...It's not legally binding, but it's a political commitment. They signed a document 10 years ago to ask OSCE to observe elections."

The State Department invitation to OSCE was dated July 30. Earlier in July a group of Congressmen wrote to the United Nations asking that they monitor the fall elections. The UN replied that the request had to come from the U.S. government. Consequently, the Republican majority in the Congress passed a special amendment barring the use of federal funds for the United Nations to monitor U.S. elections.

To show how important they can be, election observers played an important role in the recent elections in Venezuela, where a referendum sought to oust President Chavez. When the referendum results supported Chavez, the opposition claimed that the results were fraudulent. However, election monitors from the Organization of American States and an organization associated with former President Jimmy Carter did an audit of the election results and announced that they were fair.

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


What would it take for the U.S. presidential election to be fair?,

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Latest reader comment:

Our local paper, the Anniston Star, has carried no articles recently about the debate over challenging the electoral vote being led by John Conyers.  This is discouraging, since it is a liberal publication which has been a moderate voice throughout the election.   I have written several letters to the editor with no response.  I will be wearing my Vote 2004 button tomorrow (January 6) to remind myself and others that the election is not over yet.  I hope that this election will spur the necessary changes in our election system to assure that every one votes and every vote is counted (correctly).


This report was posted on August 30, 2004.