Skip to comments.Bush invites foreigners to monitor U.S. election
Posted on 08/07/2004 1:36:44 PM PDT by wagglebee
WASHINGTON 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.
Assistant Secretary of State Paul V. Kelly, who handles legislative affairs for the department, affirmed the invitation this week in a letter to the 13 House members. They had requested U.N. monitors for this year's elections in an effort to avoid the charges of voting irregularities that plagued the 2000 election, the closest in history.
Now, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the largest regional organization in the world with 55 participating nations, will monitor the U.S. election on Nov. 2. Members include Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain and the United States.
"OSCE members, including the United States, agreed in 1990 in Copenhagen to allow fellow members to observe elections in one another's countries," Kelly wrote. "Consistent with this commitment, the United States has already invited the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to observe the November 2, 2004, presidential elections."
The congressional initiative was spearheaded by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas. She asked Powell to make an official request that the U.N. provide observers for the Nov. 2 elections in the United States to "ensure free and fair elections."
Previously, the 13 Democratic congressmen, led by Johnson, sent a letter July 8 to the U.N. general secretary requesting the presence of U.N. representatives in every county of the country during the voting process and any vote recount afterwards.
The U.N. immediately responded that such a request could not be accepted unless it came from the U.S. government. Otherwise, a spokesman said, it could be considered"intervention in a country's sovereignty."
"As legislators, we should guarantee the American people that our country will not experience another nightmare like the 2000 presidential elections," the members of Congress said in their letter to Annan.
In her letter to Powell, Johnson expressed grave concerns regarding electoral system reforms that were not undertaken after the 2000 election.
Recalling the contentious Florida vote count in 2000, the lawmakers urged the U.N. to "ensure free and fair elections in America."
"As lawmakers, we must assure the people of America that our nation will not experience the nightmare of the 2000 presidential election," Johnson said in the letter. "This is the first step in making sure that history does not repeat itself."
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.
Besides Johnson, the congressional signers to the original U.N. letters included Julia Carson of Indiana, Jerrold Nadler, Edolphus Towns, Joseph Crowley and Carolyn B. Maloney, all of New York, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Corrine Brown of Florida, Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, Danny K. Davis of Illinois, and Michael M. Honda and Barbara Lee of California.
I think Jimmy Carter is one of Kofi Annan's leftist idiots.
Someone please tell me this is NOT true!
Yeah, I guess you're right.
It won't be the UN. FOX news said that there would be some UN personell but the group is part of a European watchdog group.
Actually it's kind of interesting that he's doing it at all. It tells me that the president is expecting some dirty tricks and is heading the democrats off.
You know since it's always the rats which are cheating this could be a politically smart move on the administrations part.
I would love to see some of the rats operatives busted by the UN for voter fraud.
It is called pre-emption. Now Kerry can only agree...he cant take a stand without saying that he does not think that the election should be monitored which we all know he wont and cant.
Good move by the Prez....
It's the democrats that do the election fraud thing...this is maybe a smart move; less room for them to shriek down the line. Also, maybe even a little less possibility for 'Rat shenanigans.
What if the RATS pay off the UN watchdogs? TerAYsa has a bottomless purse, and God knows the Euroweenies want Kerry to win.
And being asked makes it non-intervention?
The UN members lick their chops at ANY opportunity to get a hand in the pants of the US' business.
Bloggers, other non-establishment media, and concerned citizens should subject the individual backgrounds of these "impartial" Euros to a comprehensive investigation. Business ties to Castro, Saddam, or Soros should be special objects of attention, as should membership in fifth column dhimmi-groups ("Doctors without Borders" etc.) and ties to the enemy media (Reuters, Al-Jazeerah, the British National Union of Journalists, etc.).
Especially in Chicago where even dead Democrats vote over and over.
They should be allowed to stand over the folks counting ballots and do random cross checks to ensure no dead people vote, only eligible people vote, and only once in one balloting place.
I wonder how many votes the Rats would lose if EVERYTHING were fair and proper?
As corrupted as many elections have become worlwide, it would be a good idea to have disinterested parties supervising every election.
Well said -- and, unfortunately, true.
How dangerously ironic that these people slam the idea of the US courts getting involved, questioning their purpose in doing so in '00 but fully welcome foreigners with open arms to do the same.
Politics in this country of ours is more ominous than one can perceive.
Hillary's rather frequent visits to Europe are paying off.
I don't care how the media spins this, this is the UN. Go to the UN website and click on human rights, then search OCSE and ODIHR. These organizations are just special elections departments of the UN.
Then you better not vote I guess.
Would one be totally out of line in thinking that Dubya responding to this with a "Cram it where the sun don't shine for our elections are none of your business" would be more appropriate?
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