This is what it's come to, folks. A coalition of eight civil rights groups is worried enough about possible voter suppression that it has asked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an IGO affiliated with the UN, to monitor our elections.
Liberal-leaning civil rights groups met with representatives from the OSCE this week to raise their fears about what they say are systematic efforts to suppress minority voters likely to vote for President Obama.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP and the ACLU, among other groups, warned this month in a letter to Daan Everts, a senior official with OSCE, of “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.”
Where possible, OSCE teams will be on the ground on Election Day--and they won't just be watching the actual voting.
“They [will] observe the overall election process, not just the ballot casting,” said Giovanna Maiola, spokeswoman for OSCE. “They are focusing on a number of areas on the state level, including the legal system, election administration, the campaign, the campaign financing [and] new voting technologies used in the different states.”
Some states explicitly allow for international observers. In other cases, the OSCE has used its contacts at the local level to get permission to watch the proceedings.
Not surprisingly, one of the worst offenders among the wingnut groups trolling for voter fraud is not at all happy.
The request for foreign monitoring of election sites drew a strong rebuke from Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True the Vote, a conservative-leaning group seeking to crack down on election fraud.
“These activist groups sought assistance not from American sources, but from the United Nations,” she said in a statement to The Hill. “The United Nations has no jurisdiction over American elections.”
Engelbrecht is one to talk. Her organization has gotten it wrong--bad wrong--when challenging voters in several states. In fact, True the Vote has gotten it wrong so often that both Democratic and Republican election officials have criticized it. And Congressman Elijah Cummings has launched an investigation, suspecting that True the Vote may be a criminal organization
. In other words, True the Vote is part of the reason why the OSCE had to be called in to start with.