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April 23, 2014, 9:00 am
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UN-Affiliated Election Monitors to Springfield?

Could a United Nations affiliated group be coming to Springfield to observer our elections?  

That seems to be the case.

A document posted to Facebook shows that two individuals from the Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will be in Springfield, Illinois, for their first phase, and then off to Madison, Wisconsin for their second phase.

Blatantly in your face -- A tree of all seeing eyes?  Really?
Blatantly in your face -- A tree of all seeing eyes?  Really?

Who are OSCE?

Their website says

"With 56 States from Europe, Central Asia and North America, the OSCE is the world's largest regional security organization. It offers a forum for political negotiations and decision-making in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation, and puts the political will of its participating States into practice through its unique network of field missions.

 

"The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities."

Interestingly enough, the United States is a member state of this organization.  But, notice the name of the group--Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe.  What business do they have here?  

Elections observers

Under OSCE, there's another organization called Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.  ODIHR gets sent out to OSCE member states to observe and "assess the implementation of OSCE commitments relating to elections.  The Office also conducts technical-assistance projects and legislative reviews."

It was reported on the OSCE website early in October that ODIHR would be in the US for the General Elections, but we had no indication they'd be in the capital city, the Land of Lincoln.  

"Observers will assess these elections for compliance with international obligations and standards for democratic elections, including the commitments agreed to by all the OSCE participating States, and with national legislation. The mission will analyze the legislative framework and its implementation and will follow campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, including voter registration, and the resolution of election disputes. As part of its observation, the ODIHR mission will conduct comprehensive monitoring of the media."

The observers will also meet with elections authorities, candidates, representatives from the judiciary, civil society and the media.  

The above linked press release says the ODIHR has been operating this mission in the US since October 4th.

Even further into the online operations of OSCE's website, and in particular the ODIHR section, you can find the US mission documents.  Here, we find the Needs Assessment Mission Report, the list of long-term observers, the core team, and interim reports 1 and 2.  There's a lot of information in these links that will take some time to digest, but a quick review of one of the interim reports indicates it's an overview of some of the law and statistics of elections in the US.

Who are coming to Springfield

The two names on the document are Sandrine Martins Espinoza from France and Armin Daeweritz from Germany.  

Armin has done election observations in the past and is actually listed as a long-term observer for the mission in Belarus in September.  Armin is also listed as a long-term observer for the current US mission.  

Sandrine must have applied and gotten accepted to be an observer.

I haven't found anything directly from OSCE or ODIHR that confirms the document's authenticity, but with all the contextual information about the organizations, the missions, the name of Armin Daeweritz already being associated on the official documents for this and other missions, it's probably a safe bet that they will be in Springfield, the capital city of the home state of the current President of the United States. 

So what?

What's the big deal?  We've got people from a mixture of other countries coming to the United States to "observe" our elections.  Apparently OSCE/ODIHR have been observing US elections for years!  

Well, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has a big problem with it.  He's threatened to arrest the observers if they step into a polling place in Texas on Election Day.  Read about that here

Abbot says the "groups and individuals from outside the United States are not allowed to influence or interfere with the election process in Texas." The report continues that Abbott's letter explicitly says there will be criminal prosecutions if OSCE conducts their mission in Texas.  That gives some new fresh life to the saying "don't mess with Texas." 

OSCE responded saying they have "grave concern" and that the possible prosecution of OSCE observers would be "contrary to the country's [United States] obligations [emphasis added] as an OSCE participating state."

The response also states that election observers are instructed to remain impartial and to not interfere with the elections in any way.  But, Examiner.com reports that OSCE/ODIHR will not only monitor the elections, but they will monitor "conservative groups" who may be accused of working to disenfranchise segments of the population.  There are efforts to pass photo ID to vote laws.  Sadly, those efforts are misguided and are now being used as a reason for this UN-affiliated group to come to the country to stick their nose in our business, yet again.

electronic voting machines

Electronic voting

There should be concerns about voter fraud.  It's a genuine worry that many Americans have--their vote will be compromised by someone using a fraudulent name to cast a vote in many different places.  But there's something else that regularly gets overlooked and it maybe because we do everything electronically.  Our votes are compromised the second they're fed through a computer.  

"I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how" ~Joseph Stalin

The American people need to realize that our electoral system is broken.  

It's not just the electronic voting machines that are a HUGELY OVERLOOKED PROBLEM, but it's the process of ballot access favoring the establishment parties, campaign finance disparities, mainstream media coverage of corporate-sponsored candidates, the Commission on Presidential Debates, and on and on ... 

Are the above mentioned things issues OSCE/ODIHR will be focusing on, or will they merely go after a group that wants the electorate to show photo ID to vote while looking the other way on the use of electronic machines or the CPD?  
Guess we'll have to wait and see.

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