International Election Observers Are Already Sounding the Alarm - WhoWhatWhy

International Election Observers Are Already Sounding the Alarm

American Elections Not Unlike Those of the Third World

Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from voting Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from AlphaZeta / Wikimedia (CC0 1.0), DonkeyHotey / Flickr (CC BY 2.0), and Sagredo / Wikimedia.
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The hundreds of international observers dispatched to keep an eye on the US election are already troubled by what they have seen.

According to an interim report, the election monitors sent by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have expressed deep concerns over the disenfranchisement of millions of US citizens.

“Up to six million Americans will be excluded from the election,” said Michael Georg Link, the OSCE’s chief election observer, in an interview with the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Link explained that an estimated 3.2 million Americans are being disenfranchised because they are either in custody and awaiting trial or have already been sentenced. An additional 2.6 million citizens have already served their time behind bars but were still stripped of their right to cast a ballot on November 8.

Jürgen Klinke, another German election observer, told the country’s leading daily Bild that the US had “some catching up to do to meet international standards.”

The OSCE is also disturbed that so many Americans fear that the election would be rigged. Link explained that the international observers had so far seen no evidence that this is happening. Instead, he suggested that the accusations Democrats and Republicans had exchanged are rooted in the viciousness of this election cycle.

While GOP nominee Donald Trump has blamed just about everyone for rigging the system, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her camp have accused Russia of trying to influence the election by hacking the email accounts of party and campaign officials.

But don’t expect to hear the concerns of foreign observers in the mainstream media just yet. In July, WhoWhatWhy became the first US news outlet to report that hundreds of international observers would monitor the upcoming election. The OSCE usually only dispatches a handful of monitors to well-functioning democracies. Still, it took corporate news outlets a couple of months to catch up.

Up until now, Link’s most recent statements have also gotten the silent treatment from the mainstream media.

From OSCE’s Interim Report:

•  New voter identification laws. These may confuse voters and local polling officials, uncertain about how to apply the law. The report calls voter identification a “highly charged” issue which divides along party lines, with Republicans raising concerns about voter impersonation, and Democrats worried about disenfranchising voters, particularly minority and low-income citizens.

•  Voting machines. The voting technology in use in many parts of the US is “old and not replaced due to a lack of resources at the federal, state or local level. This has caused concerns with reliability, security and possible malfunctions, which could lead to lost votes or long queues at the polls.”

•  Reception the observers will receive. The US government asked OSCE to send officials to observe this election. The National Association of Secretaries of State also extended an invitation. But the OSCE report notes that it is difficult to predict what kind of reception the observers will receive at individual polling places — and that foreign observers are banned outright in 13 states.

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17 responses to “International Election Observers Are Already Sounding the Alarm”

  1. Avatar Paul says:

    This alarm should have sounded for the Democratic primaries.

  2. Avatar David S says:

    With the two-party oligarchy firmly in control of elections, debates, district lines, the media, ballot access laws, campaign finance laws, etc. I would put the number of disenfranchised Americans at over 300,000,000.

    • Avatar Fraya says:

      You can actually see the numbers yourself. I noticed it months ago. We had a big spike in voters for Obama’s election. I credit that to ppl who wanted the first AA President and ppl that didn’t want an AA President. The decline the next year was pretty significant even though Obama was going for re-election. But this year the drop is extremely noticeable if you think that ppl who voted on Obama’s second term weren’t interested (and probobly don’t have a record of voting )since he got in. So I would credit what was left was regular voters that do have a voting record but are missing this election. It’s a lot!!

    • Avatar David S says:

      Just because someone goes in and casts a ballot for some loser doesn’t mean they aren’t still disenfranchised. As Georgia’s ballot access laws have prevent ALL 3rd party candidates from making the ballot since 1935!!!!! I am disenfranchised 100% when it comes to my congress parasite. When the two party oligarchy decides which losers will be the candidates you are forced to choose between, you are disenfranchised. When nobody on the ballot has any principles, doesn’t hold the same values and doesn’t support the same policies as you, you are disenfranchised. More importantly, when EVERY member of congress (except maybe a handful) is owned, controlled, etc. by big business interests and does NOT answer to their constituencies, EVERYONE is disenfranchised.

    • Avatar Paul says:

      Please. The large number of voters was more a consequence of the impending financial meltdown and a realization that the war in Iraq was unnecessary, than of any racial cognizance on the part of the voters.

    • Avatar Fraya says:

      You think? Bush was out. He couldn’t do another term. So why would people feel obligated that hadn’t felt obligated before ? I think you’re being really dismissive of the excitementnt that was generated for a first African American President. That excitement was met with first time voters well over voting age. Than there was the anger of an African American becoming president, met with lots of people voting the for the first time to keep an African American out. Have you seen the numbers from before Obama’s election and than afterwards? The amount who voted that year was mind- melting. I’m sure you’re right as well. If people didn’t feel more obligated to vote after Bush’s lie to Congress to invade Iraq, the birth of ISIS, all in the wake of 911 than nothing will get those people to vote. That was most definitely the year that should have compelled non-voters. But on top of that there was a possibility of an African American President that most definitely got people in those booths.

    • Avatar Paul says:

      I’m not overlooking the excitement of voters making history with the thought of a black president who might have possibly delivered the hope and change he campaigned on (he didn’t), I’m just pointing out that circumstances were such that the financial meltdown was an overriding concern. Let’s not forget, the vote occurred right as the meltdown was happening in real time, and McCain was on record foolishly as saying everything was ok. People were just as terrified of losing everything as they were of gaining something.

    • Avatar Fraya says:

      Agreed. You’re right. Financial collapse has a way of getting people out voting. I just don’t think it’s the whole reason those #’s are so big, but definitely part of it. But we have had financial problems since Obama’s administration, but the voting numbers come nowhere close. In fact a lot of the country believes that we are worse off with Obama in office. That said… the numbers should be close between the voter turnout this last election and Obama’s election, buy your theory.

      Still the fact remains that when Bush left office, this country was in a shambles. Obama has done what he could and we are better off than we were when Bush was exiting. So were debating something neither one of us can prove. But I do think you’re partly right, especially in your last comment. Obama promised things he could not deliver. He had no way of knowing he couldn’t deliver. Congress gave him a really hard time. I think many people in our country thought a black president would change all the racial issues (or curb alot of it) that our country struggles with. It didn’t hurt that he had great plans with well thought out goals. All those lucrative promises defininetly helped getting people out to vote.

      Now I’m not sure if it came out during the election that the Iraqi war was what we were told it was. But if it had come out during Bush’s Presidency then that definitely would have gotten people out voting: that’s our only recourse in a mess like that.

      So yeah, there was alot of things going on that year that compelled people to vote, including those who normally do not. There was a lot more going on than just the possibility of the first black American President . I guess I was being dismissive. My apologies. I guess I was projecting. I really had forgotten what was going on in America during that election. Even with my forgetfulness, I did accuse you of my own behavior. My bad.

      Sorry that’s so long. I was proccessing my thoughts while typing. It really did take that much the typing to realize my fault.
      Thanks for the coversation.

    • Avatar Paul says:

      You have nothing for which to apologize, Fraya. Don’t beat yourself up. Personally, I find it difficult to string together any order of events in light of the fact that we seem to be dealing with disaster after disaster or threat after threat on a daily basis. Not to mention the steady stream of disinformation put forth by seemingly sensible, intelligent people whose bona fides render their opinions as expert. I can barely keep up; and it’s disheartening , sometimes. It was a pleasure meeting you, and engaging in reasonable discourse. You’re good people.

    • Avatar Fraya says:

      Thanks. The disinformation is the worst! Someone who commented on a comment one day called me crazy and said that Obama is to blame for isis. Now this isn’t news, and you don’t need to look hard or be a sleuth to find whose actions lead to the creation of isis. But I go out my way proving facts and links.He didn’t believe me. But he also didn’t know the name of the person who founded isis, the original leader. He was probably trolling me but I felt a need to inform. I had a great conversation on utube (Yes i said great conversation on youtube)by a bunch of people I thought were trolling me, when I compared someone running for Parliament to Trump. He had said something that sounded a lot like Trump talking about Born Brits getting work before immigrants. Well I got jumped on. It ended up having to do with the Brexit but no vote had been made at that time. Once they realized I had an open mind (not living in Britain how can I talk its politics?) And I learned why the Brexit vote came out the way it did, and why everyone there was so passionate; something no American news station has addressed. Basically I hear our news saying they will regret that vote. But I don’t think so. I think a whole nation’s opinion is more important than those of the new casters.

    • Avatar Paul says:

      I wouldn’t necessarily say that Obama is to blame for ISIS, but ISIS is definitely a byproduct of misguided US foreign policy. Presently, the US is supporting ISIS and Al-Qaeda (Al Nusra, now) in Syria and elsewhere.

    • Avatar Fraya says:

      The idea that the enemy of our enemy is our friend is very flawed. Oboma has made things easyier for ISIS that’s for sure. He really was stuck in an impossible situtation, I’m not sure arming them helped.

    • Avatar darwin says:

      Yea obama did manage to double the debt all the previous presidents combined from 35k to 70k + for every man, woman and child in the US. Let’s not forget his drone strike….

  3. Avatar Wizbang says:

    I’d like to raise the Constitutionality of State/Local officials making election monitoring illegal. Don’t believe this was ever put to the People, nor what they want. Same for camera issues, though some regulation seems needed to assure vote privacy. Again, we have ‘officials’ making rules for the people that the people haven’t even thought about yet.
    Remember, it IS our elections. Not the State’s.

    • Avatar David S says:

      You have been the property of the state since you were conceived. And the Constitution has been dead since the day after it was ratified.

    • Avatar Guy says:

      You just nailed it !

    • Avatar GrandmaR says:

      YUP! Officially “suspended” on 9/11/01 coincident with instituting martial law across the land. Were it not so, Hillary and Bill would not be available to perform as co-presidents (AGAIN!),