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Texas Attorney General Warns International Election Observers

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the stay-out-of-it dept.

United States 817

First time accepted submitter mescobal writes "Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott warned international election observers not to come closer than 100 feet from a polling place; otherwise, they could be subject to criminal prosecution. The warning was addressed to a group of international observers who intend to monitor polls. The OSCE, an UN affiliated organization of observers, was concerned about voter ID issues among other things. From the article: '“The Texas Election Code governs anyone who participates in Texas elections — including representatives of the OSCE,” Abbott wrote. “The OSCE’s representatives are not authorized by Texas law to enter a polling place. It may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance. Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE’s representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law.”'"

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817 comments

Europeans, beware! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762765)

Chuck "Walker" Norris himself will watch over this and will roundhouse-kick you until you learn to respect democracy!

Re:Europeans, beware! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763015)

Bevare! Ve haf vays of making yoo let us observe you.

Looks like the AG actually read the law (3, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762779)

If that's what the law states, then I'm glad the Texas AG is doing his job and upholding it since that the law that the democratically elected legislature passed. Additionally, why should there be unsupervised "observers" standing around a polling place and potentially intimidating voters? There are already plenty of limits to regulate campaigning in and around polling places, and I see no reason why unelected "observers" should be given more access to polling places that legitimately registered voters are.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762785)

In our state we call these "observers" the Black Panthers.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762851)

The OSCE is the Black Panther party? I didn't realize the BP's started over seas then moved here. And why did your boy Bush not prosecute those "observers" for voter intimidation? I know, you are frothing at the mouth yelling "It was Barrack Hussein Obama that did that!!!!" No, it wasn't. The Bush administration decided not to press criminal charges.

But don't worry you to lovely Republicans. You guys just keep sending out incorrect voting information and putting up billboards telling minorities that if they vote they'll likely be arrested and put in jail. You are doing this country a great service by making sure Americans can vote. Thanks,

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762937)

That is the thing about crying liberals, you outright lie to prove a point that does not exist
"putting up billboards telling minorities that if they vote they'll likely be arrested and put in jail"

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763129)

That is the thing about crying liberals, you outright lie to prove a point that does not exist
"putting up billboards telling minorities that if they vote they'll likely be arrested and put in jail"

Sort of like how Bush lied about WMDs to justify the invasion of Iraq, huh ?

What do you have to say about THAT, you ignorant white trash moron ?

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763135)

putting up billboards telling minorities that if they vote they'll likely be arrested and put in jail.

The billboards read, "Voter fraud is a felony", you liar.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762889)

It's interesting that this keeps being brought up. It keeps being brought up because it's the only counter example the far right has.

Putting forth all the electoral manipulations since 2000, in contrast, would take up pages.

In Indiana it was found out over the past couple of days there is a county that purged *20%* of it's voter rolls. According to the Republicans involved, it was an accident. Is the same thing going on across the country all accidents? When does that excuse become non-credible.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (2)

jawtheshark (198669) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762979)

According to the Republicans involved, it was an accident. Is the same thing going on across the country all accidents? When does that excuse become non-credible.

Does it really matter if both existing parties are essentially the same thing and obeying the hand(s) that feel them?

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763075)

Yes, it does since despite this lame characterization there are fundamental differences between the policies and actions of the two parties.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763159)

You mean one working for big oil, and the other for big media, while they perform a swirlie on the military-industrial complex?

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (2)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763113)

According to the Republicans involved, it was an accident. Is the same thing going on across the country all accidents? When does that excuse become non-credible.

Does it really matter if both existing parties are essentially the same thing and obeying the hand(s) that feel them?

Yes, because it's more distraction from the fact that the two party system is in fact a one set of interests system.

Voters get confused by the distractions, the broken promises, and the layers of hate these sides pile on each other. People don't see that the complexity of the world can't be reduced down to two parties.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763139)

That's a problem that can't be corrected if they're manipulating who has a chance to vote them out.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763115)

"it's the only counter example the far right has"

First of all what is this "far right"? What the hell are you even talking about?

So we have this:

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Florida-Republican-Party-leader-receives-hoax-letter-FBI-investigates/-/1637132/17117694/-/acss1ez/-/index.html

"Local 6 first reported the bogus letter scam on Monday, which claim to be from county supervisors of elections but are postmarked from Seattle. They raise questions about the voter's citizenship and appear intended to intimidate people.

The FBI says voters who get a letter should contact their supervisor of elections and then keep the letter for the FBI.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is also investigating."

I could go on but that would be pointless. You are a drone.

So it looks like you are just about wrong on everything then huh? How does that feel drone?

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763127)

I see... when there's voter fraud accusations on the Democrats, it's merely sour grapes and "the only counter-example", but if someone levies a claim that Republicans are shooting prospective voters as they get to polling places, somehow that becomes a "disturbing trend of voter fraud and intimidation." Uh-huh. Let's peel back the curtain oh, 50 years and view the "accidents" that got JFK elected, or the "misunderstandings" that got LBJ his first (of many) political positions (the dead voting in alphabetical order, anyone?) What about the missing voter boxes in Minnesota? There were some that were missing as a "hoax", but still others that ensured Al Franken's win were "actually found and overwhelmingly favored Al over his opponent", uncharacteristically bucking the statistical trend seen in the statewide vote. (For you slow people, that means the box was padded with votes for Al Franken).

It's not about "party" or what side of the political spectrum you are on. This is about the elite keeping their seat, so to speak. It has little to do with the "evil right wing" oppressing the "good and lovable left wing", but it has everything to do with convincing sheeple like you that it is an "us v. them" bout. Yes, it is us v. them... but "them" are not Republicans or Democrats alone... it's all of them.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763095)

In our state we call these "observers" the Black Panthers.

Only in Philadelphia. The western part of Pennsylvania is mostly intimidation free.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763185)

How do the Blank Panthers, or any other group, intimidate voters? The ballot is secret, no? How can someone intimidate you into making a certain choice when they will never know what choice you made?

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (5, Funny)

thaylin (555395) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762799)

yes, only other Texans are allowed to intimidate voters

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762873)

Yes, but "other Texans" are indeed allowed to "intimidate" voters.

Parties and candidates can (and oftentimes do) send pollwatchers to any precinct where an election is held and they are allowed to monitor all the activity. We know that elections can be fraudulent (we are the home of ballot box 13, after all), but we do have an election code in place that makes it possible to for ballot boxes to have integrity.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762935)

Our Democracy is failing.
Failing Democracy can only be caused by citizens.
We are failing our Democracy.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762825)

Yet there are americans 'observing' elections in the middle-east and africa, but there it is normal because those regimes are corrupt. The fact that Europe is willing to send observers to the USA elections is maybe a sign that they think there is no real democracy there.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (5, Insightful)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763051)

Yet there are americans 'observing' elections in the middle-east and africa, but there it is normal because those regimes are corrupt. The fact that Europe is willing to send observers to the USA elections is maybe a sign that they think there is no real democracy there.

Or more simply, that the OSCE treaty, which was signed by the US, obliges its members to invite observers...

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (5, Informative)

dinfinity (2300094) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763097)

Repost because of idiotic troll mod:
Technically, the state law is in disagreement with international agreements:
"Access of election observers is regulated by state law. This frequently does not provide for international observers as required by paragraph 8 of the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document. Domestic observation is expected to be widespread." ( http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/96574 [osce.org] - page 2)

The document: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/14304 [osce.org] [osce.org]
See page 1 for the US being part of it and page 3 and further for what was agreed upon.

"(8) The participating States consider that the presence of observers, both foreign and domestic, can enhance the electoral process for States in which elections are taking place. They therefore invite observers from any other CSCE participating States and any appropriate private institutions and organizations who may wish to do so to observe the course of their national election proceedings, to the extent permitted by law. They will also endeavour to facilitate similar access for election proceedings held below the national level. Such observers will undertake not to interfere in the electoral proceedings." (page 7)

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (0)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763191)

They therefore invite observers from any other CSCE participating States and any appropriate private institutions and organizations who may wish to do so to observe the course of their national election proceedings, to the extent permitted by law.

Let me see if I understand what you're saying. By treaty, the CSCE can observe the election to the extent permitted by law. By law, observers cannot maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has warned the CSCE not to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place. So...The AG is right?

~Loyal

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Informative)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763141)

It's not "Europe" that is sending the observers. It's the OSCE, an organization that the US ARE A MEMBER OF!

And all members agreed to send observers to each others elections on a regular base.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762827)

Except that there are serious and legitimate questions about whether or not US elections are being carried out fairly and properly. So here we are telling elections observers that they are not allowed to actually observe the voting process. You don't see a problem here?

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (-1, Flamebait)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763055)

Except that there are serious and legitimate questions about whether or not US elections are being carried out fairly and properly.

-- Yeah, unless you are willing to post that you want election "observers" (and by "observers" I don't mean members of the Obama campaign organization) in places like Cook County Illinois, then you are full of crap.

This original story and most of the posts in this thread are already laying the groundwork for the 100% guaranteed "grass-roots" "outcry" against the "subversion of democracy" in case a candidate other than Obama wins the election. On Slashdot, democracy basically means that whoever runs the DailyKos hand-picks our leaders and any disagreement is unconstitutional.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763099)

LOL. The US is a participant and founder member of the OCSE. When they joined they agreed to certain obligations such as allowing observers to come in. There is no "subversion of democracy" here anymore than the US observers subvert democracy during the elections they monitor. Get your fucking head out of your ass.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763199)

You do know why these "must keep a distance" laws are in place right? Once upon a time, kooky people in white pointed hats would stand around polling stations. They wouldn't actually do anything and thus weren't breaking any laws, they'd just stand there and take notes whenever a black person came to vote. If said black person later turned up dead shortly after a bunch of other kooky people in white pointed hats had gathered and burned a cross during the night, well there was no connection was there?

The presence of such laws enhances the legitimacy of an election. Most local jurisdictions have exceptions allowing for registered neutral observers to observe the polling. But you have to fill out the appropriate forms first, crossing the t's and dotting the i's as a way to insure that you're really observers and not just kooks setting out to unduly influence an election. More than likely, the observing organization failed to file the appropriate paperwork.

And this is not one of those situations where you want local authorities to use their best judgment and let slide just because it's a "good" organization. That used to happen in the South too. And any complaints by blacks about intimidation at the polls were summarily dismissed, while complaints about voting irregularity on ballots cast by blacks were thoroughly investigated. You don't want that. You want this to be done by the book, no exceptions.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762837)

and I see no reason why unelected "observers" should be given more access to polling places that legitimately registered voters are.

You mean Texas' legitimately registered voters aren't allowed to come closer than 100 foot from a polling place either?

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762997)

"You mean Texas' legitimately registered voters aren't allowed to come closer than 100 foot from a polling place either?"

This is not Europe

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762845)

law that the democratically elected legislature passed.

How do we know that the legislature was democratically elected if there's nobody outside that legislative body watching for election fraud?

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762893)

As a moral person I say it is wrong, as a lawyer he says it's legal. And we wonder why lawyers are reviled.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (3, Informative)

dinfinity (2300094) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762931)

Technically, the state law is in disagreement with international agreements:
"Access of election observers is regulated by state law. This frequently does not provide for international observers as required by paragraph 8 of the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document. Domestic observation is expected to be widespread." (http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/96574 - page 2)

The document: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/14304 [osce.org]
See page 1 for the US being part of it and page 3 and further for what was agreed upon.

"(8) The participating States consider that the presence of observers, both foreign and domestic, can enhance the electoral process for States in which elections are taking place. They therefore invite observers from any other CSCE participating States and any appropriate private institutions and organizations who may wish to do so to observe the course of their national election proceedings, to the extent permitted by law. They will also endeavour to facilitate similar access for election proceedings held below the national level. Such observers will undertake not to interfere in the electoral proceedings." (page 7)

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (3, Interesting)

ethorad (840881) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763123)

Now IANAL but I think you shot yourself in the foot there.

Your quote from the OSCE document clearly states that participating states [ie the US] invites observers to observe the election "to the extent permitted by law". If the law says they're allowed to observe, but from no closer than 100 feet, then how is that in disagreement with international agreements?

Admittedly you could argue about how much observation can be done from a distance, but it doesn't appear to be in disagreement to me.

Having said that it increasingly seems to me that right/wrong and legal/illegal are orthogonal axes

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (1)

niiler (716140) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763197)

Mod up... As usual, we in the US seem to think we are above the law.... Don't you guys watch any Steven Seagal? Wait...he's not from Texas...nevermind...

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762971)

The law seems pretty clear. Unless the OSCE is recuiting locals to be observers, their observers will not be eligible.

TEX EL. CODE ANN. 33.031 : Texas Statutes - Section 33.031: GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/txstatutes/EL/3/33/B/33.031 [findlaw.com]
(a) To be eligible to serve as a watcher, a person must be a qualified voter:

(1) of the county in which the person is to serve, in an election ordered by the governor or a county authority or in a primary election;

(2) of the part of the county in which the election is held, in an election ordered by the governor or a county authority that does not cover the entire county of the person's residence; and

(3) of the political subdivision, in an election ordered by an authority of a political subdivision other than a county.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763017)

The US federal government signed and ratified the OSCE Copenhagen charter, and the US Constitution states that federal law and international treaties supersede state law (a provision that Texas has historically had problems with).

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762977)

Funny because he didn't seem to give a flying fuck about the Tea Party people [huffingtonpost.com] who announced that they will be doing the same thing. I guess the major difference is these are "dirty, Socialist Europeans" rather than "true patriots" aligned with his political beliefs.

Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (2)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763111)

That's fine if you like being in the same category as Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and everywhere else the US has whinged about not having verifiably free and fair elections.

Non-local government is a bad idea (2, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762793)

Over time, this principle has been reinforced: the more land a government oversees, and the more remote it is from a local area, the more likely it is to misunderstand the specific needs of that locality.

It's bad enough that the federal government makes laws that might work on the coasts but ignore the needs of people in the flyover states, but trust the UN to treat Texas like New York or Brussels and thus completely miss the point.

I'm not calling for Texas Secession [texassecede.com] yet, but it's tempting some days... and not just for Texas. Washington and New York are too far from most places to understand local needs.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762859)

What are you talking about? Elections observers are sent in when there is a concern that voters might be disenfranchised, that elections might be fraudulent, that opposition parties might be excluded, and so forth. All of the above applies to the US.

Nobody talks about how dangerous it is for elections observers to be sent to Afghanistan.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (0, Troll)

StormyWeather (543593) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762995)

News flash Texas isn't governed by the UN.

nor is Afghanistan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763035)

ruled by the UN and we still send observers because the elections might be rigged (aka: the people might vote for the Taliban)

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (3, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763009)

He's talking about a far-right fantasy that the UN is coming to take our rights.

He's a member of the tinfoil hat brigade, in other words.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763161)

"about a far-right fantasy"

Good grief you people and you idiocy. The Far Right, indeed.

Hey genius, I am the far right and I'm coming to get your stuff, be afraid! Booga-Booga!

Fucking moron.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762879)

What needs do voters have in Texas that are different from those in Brussels?

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762919)

Local governments are more easily corrupted and dominated by corporations than larger governments. And if there is a threat to America's liberty and the welfare of its people it is the corporations who act as proxies for the plutocratic class attempting to sweep aside our little experiment from the 1770's and restore the old order of the ruling classes in the name of conservatism.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (4, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763073)

That's an interesting statement as the National Government in the U.S. has almost been totally dominated by corporate interests.

That must mean the state and local governments are rotten through and through. And that sounds about right.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762923)

but trust the UN to treat Texas like New York or Brussels and thus completely miss the point.

What point are the UN missing, how is that point differentiating from New York or Brussels and how exactly are they missing that point?
What local need is being served by not letting objective election observers observe elections and how is the federal government responsible for the UN wanting to send those observers?

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (1, Insightful)

StormyWeather (543593) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762987)

I'm a proud Texan but I'd personally rather see washington DC seceed.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763193)

You can't even spell secede correctly, you stupid lowlife redneck
moron.

Texans are liars( Bush ) idiots ( you ) cheats ( Lance Armstrong )
and an embarrassment to the rest of the US.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (5, Insightful)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762993)

The reason Texas has been targeted specifically is because of its history of voter abuse.

I know Texas likes to toot it's own horn about how they're all big and tough and don't need no nobody, but really they're really ruining the US's image by doing this and being defiant pricks for no reason. Everyone likes to point out how terrible the federal government is, but that's turning a blind eye to how much worse state governments are.

Okay well maybe if it were a local election, or state only election, they could get away with this. But we're talking about a presidential elections, the future of the national government rests on this. So no, Texas can't just isolate themselves: they're beholden to the federal government in this matter. And it's definitely of concern to the UN who the next president of the entire US will be, so it isn't like this is some trivial matter.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762999)

Are you suggesting that texas doesn't need fair elections? Functional democracy is good enough for brussels or new york, but texas should have the freedom from oversight necessary to become as corrupt as it likes?

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763029)

Over time, this principle has been reinforced: the more land a government oversees, and the more remote it is from a local area, the more likely it is to misunderstand the specific needs of that locality.

That's hilarious and completely wrong. Re-read your history book some time to see that the most corrupt governments in the history of the US were the city and municipal governments followed by the state governments.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763089)

Washington and New York are too far from most places to understand local needs.

You make Texas sound like a rebellious child. "You don't understand me! I hate you!"

I hope Texas and the red states do secede. For some children, one spanking isn't enough.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763153)

At the same time with them gone the federal tax rate could probably be lowered since they are the biggest welfare queens when it comes to Federal funds from tax money.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763105)

I'm not calling for Texas Secession [texassecede.com] yet, but it's tempting some days... and not just for Texas. Washington and New York are too far from most places to understand local needs.

The only people who would mind that are people the rest of us would just as soon see secede, as well.

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Re:Non-local government is a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763165)

"Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out."

What a silly comment. Have you seen the size of the average Texan's ass? It's unlikely they could even physically get out the door without the door hitting it.

Diplomatic Amunity (0)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762797)

Surely anyone working for the UN qualifies for DIP don't they?

Re:Diplomatic Amunity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762843)

For those who were wondering....

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_amunity

Re:Diplomatic Amunity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762861)

Surely anyone working for the UN qualifies for DIP don't they?

We might be able to answer if we knew what a DIP was

Re:Diplomatic Amunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762939)

Acronym finder provides many possible meanings for DIP [acronymfinder.com] , I particularly like "Die In Place" for this context though.

I guess he meant "Diplomatic Immunity Protection", but that's not so funny.

This is nothing more than a declaration of intent (5, Insightful)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762805)

...of election officials to fix the vote.

Re:This is nothing more than a declaration of inte (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763013)

Riiiiight... because if Romney wins the delegates in Texas, it'll be because the "powers that be" rigged the election. I'd be more suspicious of an Obama win in Texas. Back in the days of LBJ and the dead voting... the UN might've had a case for "observing" the elections. These days it's pretty damned hard to fix elections (and don't pull the "Gore won the election in 2000" crap, because that was a load of shit and sticks to start with, Gore simply gambled a bunch of idiots in one county really meant to vote for him...)

On fair elections... Texas isn't some backwater province of Mexico rife with fraud and corruption.

Re:This is nothing more than a declaration of inte (5, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763109)

The Gore election was fixed, but it was done way before the vote was taken. There were massive voter purges in Florida done by the Jeb Bush administration. The number of Democratic voters taken out was several times Bush's margin of victory.

This is well documented (with REAL FACTS!) but it isn't talked about.

Re:This is nothing more than a declaration of inte (1, Insightful)

StormyWeather (543593) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763021)

yea not like thugs standing outside a polling place holding bats.

Re:This is nothing more than a declaration of inte (3, Informative)

Hillgiant (916436) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763071)

Son. This is Texas. The fix has been in for the past sixty years. Just because the machine doesn't call itself a "machine" doesn't change the effect. Just because the machine changes party does not mean it changes its stripe.

Hypocracy at it's bestest (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762815)

I love how Americans go around the world telling other countries how to do "fair" elections, when they can't even following their own laws and do fair elections themselves.

Tell me again who should have won the last election?

Re:Hypocracy at it's bestest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762991)

It just depends how you define "fair". In Texas, fair means giving someone a ten-second head start before you start shooting at them. It's a strange place.

How the mighty have fallen (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762817)

The world looks to America to set a good example, and America leads by example.

It's a terrible tragedy that these nutjob far right wing extremists have managed to compromise politics so badly. And that they want to win so badly, they'll obliterate America's good name in the world to do so.

And it isn't just implementing blatantly racist and illegal policies to purge 'enemy' voters either. It's setting up stings and other deceit to try and prop up their extremist loony Right lies that liberals are engaging in voter fraud.

Somebody tell me why there isn't a completely independent, non-partisan election agency in the US anyway. Only a COMPLETE fucking idiot would let political appointees run elections. It's akin to putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse.

Re:How the mighty have fallen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762871)

How kind of you to regurgitate what you've been told by your libtardian overlords, which is entirely inaccurate.

America's election system has nothing to do with the U.N. and their observers don't belong in this country, much less near our polling booths.

I don't want them in my state, and my state has historically voted for the opposite party that I support.

Re:How the mighty have fallen (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762941)

I want you to just substitute the word "Texas" for the word "Syria" in the article summary and tell me how it sounds. Here, I'll do it.

"The Syrian Attorney General warned international election observers not to come closer than 100 feet from a polling place; otherwise, they could be subject to criminal prosecution. The warning was addressed to a group of international observers who intend to monitor polls. The OSCE an UN affiliated organization of observers was concerned about voter ID issues among other things. From the article: '“The Syrian Election Code governs anyone who participates in Syrian elections — including representatives of the OSCE,” he wrote. “The OSCE’s representatives are not authorized by Syrian law to enter a polling place. It may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance. Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE’s representatives to criminal prosecution for violating Syrian law.""

Huh, that's funny: if you change the location there, it sounds almost like a declaration of intent to rig the election of some third-world fake democracy! But no, it's Texas so everything must be fine.

Re:How the mighty have fallen (2)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763045)

There are independent observers sent to elections all over the world, to ensure there aren't any problems. Some of these observers are American. Why should it be any difference in the homeland?

I want to be able to say that our elections are fair, but only by having a bit of humility and letting some external observer in can we be sure. If observers of any form are being excluded, then who is to say that the process is being respected and they very act of exclusion causes suspicion.

Re:How the mighty have fallen (5, Insightful)

blackpaw (240313) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762989)

The world looks to America to set a good example, and America leads by example.

Sadly no, that ship sailed quite some time ago. In fact it never really docked in the first place. That the world looks up to America is a happy little fantasy americans entertain to keep themselves feeling all warm and fuzzy while they fuck everyone else over.

Re:How the mighty have fallen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763039)

The world looks to America to set a good example, and America leads by example.

Sadly no, that ship sailed quite some time ago. In fact it never really docked in the first place. That the world looks up to America is a happy little fantasy americans entertain to keep themselves feeling all warm and fuzzy while they fuck everyone else over.

The US has never lead by moral exemplitude, they lead by the force of arms.

so proud of my country (5, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762847)

In terms of elections we now have less credibility than Venezuela.

It took real effort to break down confidence in the fairness of U.S. elections within 10 years.

Re:so proud of my country (-1, Flamebait)

StormyWeather (543593) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763047)

Your so full of shit. It is just illegal to fuck with people inside a polling place. A good sign your elections are fucked is if you have tanks on the streets the next morning, it is illegal to publicize exit polls, etc.

they are welcome to question people in the parking lot but we don't want anyone messing with us in the polls.

Re:so proud of my country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763195)

Texas allows poll watchers, like most states. They just have to be partisan (affiliated with a party or candidate, or proponents or opponents of a ballot measure).

Re:so proud of my country (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763077)

Not really. Looking on from outside the US, I for one haven't hjad any confidence in the fairness of U.S. elections since Nixon.

Re:so proud of my country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763133)

The confidence in the past was naive, we are just starting to face up to reality.

The only reason it seems to get worse now is because it's in the public more with modern media.

Lets drop the idealized visions of past elections -- they were most likely far less fair and rigged far more often because no one was looking.

Fourth world status for the US ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762857)

USA a banana republic in all but name.
Go team USA, make us proud.

Re:Fourth world status for the US ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763061)

Fourth world would be a spectacular step down. The whole first/third world thing has complex definitions that people keep changing, but fourth world fairly consistently means having no functional society at any level whatsoever. Literally cavemen.

What obligation is there to allow these observers? (4, Informative)

nharmon (97591) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762863)

Janez LenarÄiÄ, the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), stated that "The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite ODIHR observers to observe its elections.â (http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/96639).

Where does this obligation come from?

Re:What obligation is there to allow these observe (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762901)

Moral obligation to fairness. A concept we're forgetting by the day.

Re:What obligation is there to allow these observe (5, Informative)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762965)

Where does this obligation come from?

As a signing member of OSCE, the US must comply to the treaty's terms. This is irrespective of what Texas' AG quacks, since the legalese in international treaties supersedes national laws where applicable -- or at least that's how it's supposed to work anyway.

Re:What obligation is there to allow these observe (1)

Meneth (872868) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762969)

Good question. I imagine there should be some OSCE charter that the US has signed, but I can't find it. Their website is difficult to navigate.

Re:What obligation is there to allow these observe (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763049)

The obligation comes from being a participatory member of the organization.

Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762881)

...The irony.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain... (0)

midifarm (666278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762911)

Seriously what do they have to hide? If you're worried about them tampering with ballots keep one of your highly armed cops with them at all times.

Re:Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41762975)

In PA police are not allowed within 100 feet of a polling place unless voting or responding to a call.

Great. (-1, Troll)

StormyWeather (543593) | about a year and a half ago | (#41762955)

This isn't chicago. Taken your bullies with clubs or clipboards at least to the parking lot. Our constitution in Texas keeps us free from harassment while voting and we will be keeping it like that.

Re:Great. (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763043)

The only way I can respond to "this isn't Chicago" is that you're right... it's the right doing the intimidation rather than the left.

Both are wrong.

Re:Great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763171)

This isn't chicago. Taken your bullies with clubs or clipboards at least to the parking lot. Our constitution in Texas keeps us free from harassment while voting and we will be keeping it like that.

The law must represent their people. For good or worse.

Re:Great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763179)

Texas is a joke, we should give it back to mexico where it belongs. Remember the Alamo!!!!

Is Electioneering Different from Witnessing? (3, Interesting)

hutsell (1228828) | about a year and a half ago | (#41763145)

I was under the impression that the 100 foot radius (in California--Ianal) was created to prevent campaigners from trying to sway voters to their side and prevent the ensuing emotional chaos created from interfering with the voting process when the voters were making a decision at the polling booth. Witnesses, OTOH, can be anyone, for whatever purpose, watching and learning about the voting process in the voting area as long as it's peaceable and reasonably practical. (An example: students not of voting age.)

"may be a criminal offense" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41763169)

a nice restaurant you seem to have there, too bad if something nasty happened to it...

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