Sunday, October 25, 2020

Eighteen States Deny Access to International Election Observers in Advance of Presidential Election

International election observers from the OSCE issued their preliminary report on October 22.  It is sobering reading, noting concerns about the peaceful transition of power based on the incumbent's statements as well as de facto and de jure disenfranchisement of many voters.  The report also notes that eighteen states disallow, as a matter of law, international election observers.  Those states are:  Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

This seems to be an instance of state-level exceptionalism. Given the importance of ensuring a fair election, state advocates may want to mobilize in favor of more open policies before the next election. OSCE election observers can provide insights and expertise for improving voting procedures, and their presence can assist in establishing accountability for fair elections.

Why would 18 states deny these officials access as a matter of law? What are these states hoping to hide from the world?

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