Apparently, the Texas attorney general wants to arrest election monitors dispatched by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to observe the election in the USA.

This is ignorant. It’s also dangerous.

It’s ignorant because OSCE does not interfere with elections. It just monitors and writes reports about them, and sends those reports to its 56 member states (of which the USA is one). This is a harmless excercise and one that the OSCE has done for every national election since 2002. It cannot affect the outcome of the election and has no constitutional authority to do anything.

It’s dangerous because the OSCE is an international organization that helps spread democracy and human rights to advance the interests of its member states–including the USA. When there are elections in countries with a shorter history of democracy (where election results are sometimes contested with armed conflict) OSCE election monitors help assure both sides about the validity of the ballot.

For example, the OSCE routinely monitors elections in the Balkans, where there are still American troops. By agreement, every member of the OSCE lets other members of the OSCE observe their election.  If the USA wants to make sure that international observers can monitor contentious elections in, say, Bosnia, it helps if the USA leads by example and lets those same international observers work the American elections.

This is basic, common sense stuff. It is just a huge shame that American officials have decided to demagogue this work.

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