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Monday, November 3, 2008

International Observance

by Saul Bloodworth

I'm back in New York - boy, it's a lot colder here than in Albuquerque, let alone Tucson. The TV has only two programs; either McCain/Palin speaking, or Obama speaking (what happened to Biden when I was away?). It's sort of like watching TV in the Soviet Union except their blacks are called Caucasians.

Speaking of which, Russia is one of the few countries that does not send its own experts to observe the elections in the U.S. But it does so under the umbrella of the OSCE, as do a number other countries.

The OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation is a 56-member, non-partisan organization that monitors governance and fights terrorism. It is based in Europa, the U.S. is also a member. It has sent 47 election observers to a number of states in the U.S., including North Dakota. In addition, there is team of 13 international experts based in Washington, D.C.

According to an interim report about the 40 states observed by the OSCE so far, "voter registration issues have sometimes been contentious, and an increase in registered voters raises questions about the capacity of polling stations. In addition, lawsuits across the nation have involved challenges to voter identification laws and the maintenance of voter registration lists".

According to other reports, there are up to 100 international observers, including some from Poland and Portugal. Even Kazakhstan is sending observers. That will be the most watched election in history. You betcha.

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