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  •   Foreign monitors 'barred' from US polls (4.00)

    Foreign monitors 'barred' from US polls

        November 03 2004 at 12:54AM

    Copenhagen - Some observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a Europe-wide security and rights forum, were barred from entering some polling stations in the United States on Tuesday, one of them said.

    "We were not allowed to enter polling stations," said Soeren Soendergaard, a Danish parliamentary deputy.

    "Although we were officially invited to follow the (US presidential) election, the message was not passed on to the polling stations," he told the Danish news agency Ritzau.

    He said he had been personally refused admission at three out of four polling stations in Columbus, Ohio.

    "It's the limit of arrogance," complained the left-wing deputy, representing the 55-nation OSCE, a pan-European body of which the US is a member and whose duties include monitoring elections to ensure fair play.

    Another Danish OSCE observer, conservative Carina Christensen, reported less serious irregularities in Jacksonville, Florida, but said police had been called when she tried to visit a Republican office.

    She and three other delegation members had been well received by local representatives of the Democrat Party who had ensured their access to polling stations.

    But Republicans were less welcoming. "We were denied entry to a local Republican office in Orlando," she told Ritzau: "They called the police, saying they had received guidelines from Washington to do so."

     more ...

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