Hundreds of foreigners are expected to enter America within the next month in order to observe the American electoral process.
The United States sends representatives to other nations with dubious democratic processes to survey the voting systems and look for fraudulent practices. But now it seems that America is the one being inspected and scrutinized.
With the help of President Barack Obama, the Organization of American States (OAS) will send roughly 30 to 40 spectators to polling locations across the country for the first time ever, according to The Washington Post. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has been consigning a small contingent of bystanders to U.S. elections since 2002, but this time it plans to send extra reinforcements.
The OAS is an intercontinental association that includes nations and sovereign states from North, Central and South America. Like the OAS, the OSCE is an international bureaucracy, but with mainly European members, including Russia.
Yury Melnik, a spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Washington, told The Post that Russia is interested in sending officials to watch Americans cast their ballots.
Countries coming to monitor the American electoral process justify intervention because of external skepticism in the integrity of elections, likely stemming from new voter registration laws passed by states and vulnerability of some voting equipment to hacking.
FBI Director James Comey said in September concerning Russia and other possible evildoers, that any would-be hack of U.S. elections would encounter great difficulty, since the system “is clunky as heck.”
While stumping in Ohio, Donald Trump told a crowd in August that he was “afraid” the election in November is “going to be rigged.”
“So I hope you people can, sort of, not just vote on the 8th, go around and look and watch other polling places and make sure that it’s 100 percent fine,” Trump told a crowd of American supporters, not international officials.
“We are not policeman,” Audrey Glover, an ambassador from Britain who is heading the OSCE mission in America, told The Post. “We would not interfere. We would not intervene. We would observe, and record if we see anything untoward happening.”
This sort of international probing can be interpreted as a shot to American sovereignty, or at least a sign of distrust in the overarching democratic principles and practices the country cherishes and exercises.
Both member states and even Obama seem to want to reestablish confidence they feel may be diminished.
Before the elections in 2012, the state of Texas and Obama’s Department of State (DoS) got into a battle over the same issue. The United Nations-backed OSCE sent observers to monitor the elections in the state, and Victoria Nuland, a representative for DoS, said that these onlookers would be immune from state law, according to the Inquisitr.
The OSCE “is under the misimpression that the State Department can somehow help its representatives circumvent the Texas Election Code. Texas law prohibits unauthorized persons from entering a polling place — or loitering within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance — on Election Day. OSCE monitors are expected to follow that law like everyone else,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott warned then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.
Francisco Javier Guerrero, the OAS secretary for the strengthening of democracy told The Post that the latest invitation from the Obama administration is a sign that it is willing to be the inspected and not just the inspector.
“The United States has never done it before,” Guerrero said. “But of course, this is a unique election.”
“We’re eager to contribute to the United States,” he continued. “We feel we can give a different point of view.”
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