By Pat Shannan
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations (UN) organization created during the Cold War, plans to deploy 44 observers from its “human rights office” around the United States on Election Day, November 6, to monitor activities and any potential disputes at polling places.
Following an OSCE meeting in mid-October when civil rights leaders claimed there were plans in the works to suppress minority voters likely to vote for President Barack Obama, Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of the conservative-leaning True the Vote, rebuked OSCE for not seeking assistance from American sources.
“The UN has no jurisdiction over American elections,” she said.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Civil Liberties Union and a handful of other groups fear a “coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of traditionally disfranchised groups like minorities,” as stated in a letter to an OSCE senior official that initially led to the brainstorming meeting.
The foreign observers will focus on not only the ballot casting but “. . . the legal system, election administration, the campaign financing and the new voting technologies in the different states,” said Giovanna Maiola, an OSCE spokeswoman.
On the other hand, the True the Vote group, born out of Tea Party concerns of a repeat of the Black Panther intimidation tactics at some of the 2008 precincts, anticipates up to a million poll-watching volunteers to maintain fairness on Election Day.
Even with American poll-monitors at polling stations around the country, there remains the looming threat of electronic vote fraud. On October 19, during an afternoon episode of the popular television show “The People’s Court,” a CBS News affiliate in Arizona ran a graphic across the bottom of the screen showing, with 99% of the precincts counted, Obama had won the election with 40M-plus votes to Romney’s 38M-plus—or 43% to 40%.
Following inquiries a few days later, TV station officials said that the airing was merely the result of a mistaken run of a test graphic. “With the election about two weeks away, the TV station routinely tests its equipment to ensure our viewers have the very latest results on election night,” said a spokesman for CBS’s Arizona station. “We regret the error and apologize to any viewer who was confused by the mistake.”
But skeptics are wondering if the “results” are already in.
Pat Shannan is an AFP contributing editor and the author of several best-selling videos and books.