Connect to share and comment

In Texas, Iowa, Michigan, international observers keep their distance

Several US states have blocked international observers from keeping watch at polling stations.

Columbus votingEnlarge
Voters stand on line at the polls November 6, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Jay LaPrete/Getty Images)

International election observers heard the message loud and clear last month: Don't mess with Texas.

Iowa, too, told foreigners to stay out of the election in their state.

So on Tuesday, international observers in Texas were "keeping their distance from polling stations after the state's attorney general threatened them with arrest," the Guardian reported. In Texas, the monitors have to stay 100 feet away from polling places; in Iowa, the distance is 300 feet.

Michigan also reportedly blocked observers from monitoring polling stations on Tuesday.

Texas Governor Rick Perry defended his state's decision in October, tweeting:

But the irony is pretty thick, coming from citizens of a country that routinely sends democracy trainers and monitors to virtually every corner of the globe. And, considering international observers have been a routine part of US elections since 2002 (remember who was president then? A hint: they hailed from Texas.)

Read more about the history on international observers and US elections in this piece from GlobalPost's Jean Mackenzie.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121106/texas-iowa-international-observers-keep-their-di