News that officials in four states — Texas, Alabama, Iowa and Ohio — have taken steps to ban United Nations officials from monitoring elections in their states begs the question, “Why haven’t officials in the remaining 46 states done the same?”
As things stand today, people in four U.S. cities — Oklahoma City, Okla., Jefferson City, Mo., Indianapolis and Lansing, Mich. — will see their election day activities monitored by Baurzhan Yermegiyayev and Bolat Bersebayev of Kazakhstan, a former Soviet Central Asian state that has had serious problems with its own elections.
In a Jan. 16 article published under the headline, Observers criticize Kazakhstan election, The Washington Post reported problems during that former Soviet Central Asian republic’s election:
But observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the government prevented some parties and candidates from contesting the election; the media operated under self-censorship; and “necessary conditions for the conduct of genuinely pluralistic elections, which are a prerequisite for functioning democratic institutions, were not provided for by the authorities.”
Similarly, Americans in Boston and Concord, N.H., will see their elections monitored by Elchin Musayev of Azerbaijan, another former Soviet satellite where, as recently as last week, new legislation has been proposed to prohibit public protests ahead of 2013 elections.
Take a look at the list of election-monitoring plans above and, if you see a city in your state set to be monitored by someone from the U.N., contact your elected officials and demand those efforts be stopped.
Bob McCarty is the author of “Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice,” a nonfiction book that’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com. His second book, “The CLAPPER MEMO,” is set for release this fall.