Following a warning issued by the Attorney General of Texas that members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will be arrested and prosecuted if they violate state laws, the Obama administration has declared the international group above the law.
The United Nations affiliated group has dispatched election monitors from Europe and central Asia to polling locations around the United States to document “voter suppression activities by conservative groups,” The Hill reported last week. “Liberal-leaning civil rights groups met with representatives from the OSCE this week to raise their fears about what they say are systematic efforts to suppress minority voters likely to vote for President Obama.”
The OSCE plans to send observers to a number of states. Here is a list of the states targeted.
Democrats and liberal groups believe voter ID laws disenfranchise poor and minority voters while Republicans insist the laws prevent voter fraud. The Justice Department challenged the law after the Texas Legislature passed a photo-ID requirement. The federal government insists there is no requirement in Texas until a court case on the issue is resolved.
OSCE was contacted earlier this month by the NAACP, the ACLU and other liberal groups that believe conservatives will fix the election in favor of Republican Mitt Romney. A letter sent to OSCE official Daan Everts warns of “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.”
“The United Nations has no jurisdiction over American elections,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True the Vote, a group working against election fraud. “These activist groups sought assistance not from American sources, but from the United Nations.”
In the letter to Everts sent on October 23, Attorney General Abbott said “groups and individuals from outside the United States are not allowed to influence or interfere with the election process in Texas. This State has robust election laws that were carefully crafted to protect the integrity of our election system. All persons – including persons connected with OSCE – are required to comply with these laws.”
Abbott stated that OSCE representatives are not permitted to enter Texas polling places. “It may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance,” he said.
The Justice Department has set the stage for a confrontation. “I’m not going to get into any kind of hypothetical situations or predict where this is going to go other than to say we have every expectation that this will be worked out and to state the fact, which is that under U.S. law they are eligible for immunities,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. She said “the mandate of the OSCE is designed to be absolutely and completely impartial,” but would not explicitly state if the federal government considers it illegal for Texas to arrest OSCE personnel.
“Of course, the internationalist leaders of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations have no appreciation for the concept of state sovereignty,” writes Joe Miller on his Restoring Liberty blog. “Like most European socialists, they see national governments as supreme, free to dictate any directive to individual states. If they know anything about the US Constitution, they likely consider it hostile to their internationalist aims.”
Earlier this month, James O’Keefe of Project Veritas posted a video showing Stephanie Caballero – the Houston, Texas, regional field director for Obama’s “Organizing for America” – helping a dedicated Obama supporter vote twice. “The video ends with a montage of other Obama campaign workers reacting very warmly to the idea of casting more than one vote,” writes John Hayward of Human Events.