Nov 1 / Erin Ferns Lee

Texas Should Get a Clue, Says Washington Post

The United States is revered for its democratic transparency that allows us to vote in fair and free elections, the Washington Post editorial board wrote yesterday. However, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s hostility toward international election observers has the editorial board likening his reaction to that of Russian Autocratic rulers.

Last week, Abbott publicly threatened arrests and criminal prosecution should the observers come within 100 feet of polling places.

Washington Post
wrote:

“Mr. Abbott issued his bizarre warning to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has monitored scores of elections around the world, including six in this country since 2002. The United States, which helped create the OSCE, has supported it for decades to promote freedom and democracy worldwide.

One likely effect of Mr. Abbott’s grandstanding, which was seconded by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), is to hand a propaganda gift to dictators and autocrats everywhere. They may now cite his example as evidence that the United States is no more open to electoral scrutiny from outsiders than they are. Don’t mess with Texas — or with Belarus!”

Abbott and his supporters “have brought into the theory that OSCE election monitors are determined to subvert voter ID laws. The supposed proof is that OSCE officials have met with U.S. groups, including the NAACP and Project Vote, that oppose those laws. Republicans like Mr. Abbott, intent on suppressing Democratic voters, want to tighten voter ID laws despite scant evidence of widespread voting irregularities.”

However, the OSCE “is entitled to meet…with a broad variety of U.S. groups…as it routinely meets with groups in other countries in preparation for monitoring elections.” (Read Project Vote Executive Director Michael Slater’s statement regarding Abbott’s attack on Project Vote here.)

“The organization has expressed no opinion on U.S. voter ID laws, despite Mr. Abbott’s taunt, contained in a letter to the group, that ‘your opinion is legally irrelevant here in the United States.'”

Read the full Washington Post editorial here.

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