Monday, August 09, 2004

Europe to observe US elections

I found this on the Free Republic.

When 13 Democratic members of the U.S. Congress asked United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to send election monitors to the U.S. this fall, the move outraged many Republicans and other proponents of national sovereignty.

When those same 13 Democratic members of Congress were turned down by Annan, they took their request to Secretary of State Colin Powell again to the shock of many Republicans and those who warn about foreign entanglements.

Yesterday, those 13 Democratic House members got their surprising answer from the State Department the administration will indeed invite foreign election monitors to observe the U.S. elections in November.

I can't believe that the Bush administration would invite a foreign body to come and observe the elections in November. Kofi Annan is right. This flys in the face of our national sovereignty. This is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Since when is the US subject to international observation like we're some 3rd world country performing their first free elections after the rule of a dictator. This is almost consenting that the election of 2000 was indeed invalid and Bush wasn't the rightful winner.

There's an interesting paragraph at the end of the story:

Meanwhile, Rep. Corrine Brown, a Florida Democrat, announced that the Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has confirmed that it will be present in the United States specifically, in Florida on Election Day.

However, state election authorities in Florida have already announced that such observers are not to be allowed access to the voting process and, in any case, they would have to remain at a distance of more than 50 feet from the polls.

This begs a constitutional question. Can the federal government demand observers for an election within a state? Constitutionally, it's the electoral college that elects the president. It's up to the state how those electoral votes are determined and it's up to the state to certify the election. I wonder if Collin Powell can merely invite the OSCE to observe the casting of the electoral votes. Florida is already placing restrictions on these observers basically making their job ineffective anyway. Good for Florida.