Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who Watches The Watchers... And Who Watches Them

Jeebus! It has come to this. Via Christian Dem in NC at Kos, we are directed to an article by Alexander Bolton at The Hill:
International monitors at US polling spots draw criticism from voter fraud groups
By Alexander Bolton - 10/20/12 12:00 PM ET

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, ...

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 Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP and the ACLU, among other groups, warned this month in a letter to Daan Everts, a senior official with OSCE, of “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.”

Astonishing. What's astonishing? First off, to me, the fact that The Hill labels the ACLU and the NAACP "[l]iberal-leaning civil rights groups": really? Is it "liberal" to defend the Bill of Rights and a couple of other amendments? Second Amendment nut-jobs would be surprised to hear themselves categorized as "liberal-leaning." And what, specifically, is "liberal" (or "conservative") about protecting the civil rights of people of color? But The Hill is what the Hill is; one can hardly expect anything else of them. At least they carried the story.

Equally astonishing, again to me, is that anyone thinks True the Vote (no link from here!), King Street Patriots, etc. are a good idea. Most polling place officials are willing to work with these groups as long as they do not repeatedly get in the way of the orderly flow of the voting process. But that is of course their very raison d'être: to interfere with the voting process at polls in neighborhoods likely to contain lots of Democrats... predominantly African-American neighborhoods among them. They're out there to prevent the n[BLEEP]s from voting, however much they may deny it.

So groups like NAACP and ACLU and six others join forces to "watch the watchers," as the old saying has it. After sElection 2000, I recall some leaders of African nations offering America assistance in monitoring elections. But they were joking. We are not. We need the help. Dammit!

If America has reached the point at which it cannot run fair elections with clean polling and counting processes, we may be done for. I'm not ready to quit yet. But if we can't answer the simple question "quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" we are in sad shape indeed.

Bring in the international monitors. Fuck the self-appointed "voter fraud" detectives. If anyone tries to deny my vote, I swear I'll modify their dental work!


  1. Although it's not fail safe. We have voted by absentee ballot for years. It is beyond astonishing that we must rely on foreigners to monitor American elections, because their viability is on a par with third world countries.

    1. karmanot, I note with interest that Bryan of Why Now? also votes absentee, probably for some of the same reasons. Absentee ballots are inevitably hand-marked paper ballots (it's hard to cheat on such a ballot), and it's almost as hard to steal absentee ballots and counterfeit genuine ones to insert in the counting process.

      I've thought a lot about e-voting machines, and there are many ways to pollute the process undetected. I advocate a return to paper ballots, with a strict chain of custody of both unmarked and marked ballots; that should eliminate most of the kinds of theft so easy... yes, I said easy... with e-voting systems and virtual ballots. If America is to return to democracy, e-voting machines, used as casually as they are today, must vanish. May it happen soon!



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