The United States is so far along the road to becoming a banana republic that we’ve reached the point where outside groups are required to observe our elections to ensure there is some modicum of integrity. Several civil rights groups have requested impartial observers to keep an eye on the various right wing efforts to disenfranchise millions of minority voters.
The Hill reports:
United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week. The intervention has drawn criticism from a prominent conservative-leaning group combating election fraud.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations partner on democratization and human rights projects, will deploy 44 observers from its human rights office around the country on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places. It’s part of a broader observation mission that will send out an additional 80 to 90 members of parliament from nearly 30 countries.
This will not sit well with the paranoid right wing which already demonizes the United Nations. This is a new development and has not yet appeared to percolate through the conservative media machine but that should change today. As they freak out, look for claims of the United Nations trying to steal the election for Obama and one world government nonsense. The most visible player in the right’s voter suppression movement, the Tea Party-backed “True the Vote,” has already expressed its ire:
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 of True the Vote says intimidation is not her group’s motive.
“We are not in the business of picking winners or losers, but instead, to ensure that the process is iron-clad,” she said. “Properly trained a capable poll watchers or workers should offer no indication of their partisan or ideological leanings to voters at the polls.”
In just this short statement, the xenophobia of the right is perfectly clear: “we don’t want outsiders.” Of course, any non-conservative-aligned American group that tries to observe the right wing poll “watchers” will be accused of being part of a grand liberal conspiracy to…I dunno, allow legal voters to actually vote? Sounds diabolical.
As the right gears up for a world class meltdown over this “interference,” it should be asked: Just what are they afraid of? If True the Vote is really on the up and up, then they should welcome an impartial observation of their efforts to “maintain election integrity.” That they’re so resistant to merely being watched by trained observers suggests they are planning to do exactly what the ACLU, NAACP and other civil rights groups suspect: chase legal voters away from the polls and slow down the process to discourage others: i.e. voter suppression and election fraud.
If you live in a swing state or near one, do not just vote and go home. Watch for “concerned citizens” bothering other voters. Take their picture. Check their ID. Let people know that they’re there to slow the line down so people will leave. If they’re spreading misinformation about voter ID, call the police. The right is spending millions to train people to steal this election. Don’t let them succeed.