A leading Pennsylvania Republican wants to bar a U.N.-affiliated monitoring team from observing Tuesday’s elections, saying he doesn’t believe the international group has the authority to enter the state’s polling places.
Last month, the NAACP and other civil rights groups requested the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor Pennsylvania and other states “most impacted by voter-restriction efforts,” reports the Philadelphia Inquirer
. The agency, based out of Poland, works with the U.N. to ensure elections remain free around the world.
Pennsylvania was targeted because of a strict voter photo ID law passed last spring. The law’s implementation was postponed, though, after legal disputes reached the state Supreme Court. Voters won’t need to show photo identification Tuesday, but will in future elections.
Derek Turner, an NAACP spokesman, said he isn’t sure if the group, which monitored U.S. elections in 2004 and 2008, will send a team to Pennsylvania.
But GOP state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, the lead sponsor of the new voter ID law, wrote in a letter to Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele that “United Nations monitors have no right or jurisdiction whatsoever to intrude upon the sanctity or integrity of the commonwealth's election process.”
He said the state should order observers to stay outside polling places or, “better yet, stay away, along with any other integrity-deficient individuals or foreign nationals who wish to exercise a fraudulent or corrupt influence on the 2012 election."
Aichele’s office, however, said it's up to individual county election boards, not the state, to decide who gets access to polling places.
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