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United States Politics

Texas Attorney General Warns International Election Observers 817

Posted by samzenpus
from the stay-out-of-it dept.
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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Texas Attorney General Warns International Election Observers

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  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @07:20AM (#41762847) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @07:31AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @07:34AM (#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?

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @07:40AM (#41763073) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by ethorad (840881) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @07:46AM (#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

  • by hutsell (1228828) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @07:48AM (#41763145) Homepage

    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.)

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection [wikipedia.org]

    Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.[1]
    Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them.
    An example of this behavior might be blaming another for self failure. The mind may avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, and by redirecting libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or "projecting," those same faults onto another person or object.

    The Republicans bellyache about election fraud this election season, but whenever there is a discrepancy, they seem to be the ones perpetrating the election problems, in news items small and large across the country recently.

    They also seem concerned about our deficit and fiscal responsibility when it comes to the Democrats. But it is always Republican regimes that lower taxes... AND INCREASE SPENDING.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starve_the_beast [wikipedia.org]

    More psychological projection.

    So from now on, when I see a Republican complaint about some sort of bad behavior, my first thought is going to be "so this is what this psychotic group is planning on doing now."

  • by chill (34294) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @08:11AM (#41763445) Journal

    I can see a legitimate argument against that. Specifically that it applies only to things the Federal Gov't has jurisdiction over.

    10th Amendment:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    So, I can see a legal argument that the Feds can only dictate the admission of election observers in places under Federal jurisdiction. Places like Washington, DC, overseas military bases and embassies, etc.

    After all, the elections are called and run by the States and their delegated authorities.

  • by Tim Ward (514198) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @08:14AM (#41763497) Homepage

    ... for elections observers to be sent to Afghanistan.

    Oh Yes They Do

    I've done OSCE election missions, and if I proposed going to Afghanistan my wife would most certainly have something to say about how dangerous it is.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:09AM (#41766015) Journal

    No. He talked about how people can vote if they don't have an official voter ID. Using Bills as ID. It's not legal*, and wrong but it isn't stuffing the ballot box.

    Given that just a few days earlier, a Republican staffer in the same state was arrested and charged with voter fraud for discarding the voter registration cards of Democrats [nbcnews.com], the fraud probably balances out....

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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