Abbott said he believes the decision to target such states is directly a result of liberal organizations petitioning for their involvement. Abbott cited a Dec. 2011 report, sent by the NAACP, which was used to request the UN be more aggressively involved in monitoring the 2012 presidential election due to “what is a coordinated campaign to disenfranchise persons of color.”
In April 2012, OSCE leaders reportedly met with several organizations — which Abbott describes as “antagonistic to voter integrity laws” — on the same issue. And earlier this month, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the ACLU and the NAACP penned a letter to an UN ambassador, accusing conservative groups of “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.”
The international group also met with Project Vote, an organization closely affiliated with the now-defunct group ACORN, that has filed lawsuits challenging new Texas voter integrity laws. A federal appeals court struck down one of those lawsuits in September.
“OSCE’s affiliation with this dubious organization necessarily undermines its credibility and the independence of its election monitors,” Abbott stated.
The attorney general also noted concerns raised in Thursday’s State Department press briefing about the immunities or privileges these international monitors may receive. Such distinctions could protect the monitors from the legal ramifications of interfering with Texas Election Code laws.
“They make clear that the monitors do not have diplomatic immunity and that they must follow state law. But they vaguely suggest they have some other form of special privilege or immunity,” Abbott told TheDC.
In response to a reporter’s question about the support the State Department offers to international monitors, spokesperson Victor Nuland said the monitors could be treated like diplomats.
“Since 1996, we have also given the observers privileges and immunities when they come into the United States, certain diplomatic privileges and immunities, as we do for diplomatic personnel,” Nuland said.
When directly asked if all observers would specifically receive diplomatic immunity, Nuland responded, “No, they get certain privileges and immunities.”
Nuland did not answer follow-up questions about which monitors would receive these special privileges, or what the exact privileges are.