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Apparently in the wake of the Stolen Election of 2000, the USA has finally and at long last agreed to along Election monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe into the country to monitor the upcoming elections. Let's just hope this is a real monitoring, and not just some rubber stamped process. Where oh where is Katherine Harris when you really need her?

Guardian Unlimited
Russia to monitor American elections

Oliver Burkeman in New York
Thursday October 31, 2002
The Guardian

Amid the worldwide outbreak of Schadenfreude that accompanied America's chaotic presidential showdown in 2000, senior members of the Russian Communist party sarcastically offered to send election monitors to Palm Beach to help the nascent democracy find its feet. Albanian politicians echoed the joke, as did President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

But the line between jokes and reality in Florida has always been a blurred one: now, America has accepted the offer.

Yesterday, the first international delegation of poll monitors assigned to observe an American election arrived in the US, operating under the aegis of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. And representatives from Russia and Albania were among them.

The monitors are charged with assessing whether next Tuesday's mid-term elections in Florida meet international standards of democracy "with a focus on evaluation of the actions the authorities have undertaken to remedy the problems that were observed during the 2000 elections", OSCE spokesman Jens-Hagen Eschenbacher said in an interview with Radio Free Europe.

Two years ago voting machines malfunctioned and ballot papers left thousands of voters complaining that they had voted against their true intentions.

There were also reports of problems with the Democratic primary election for the governorship of Florida which was held last September.

"It is not the first time that a western democracy has been monitored," Mr Eschenbacher said. "We also assessed the ... presidential elections in France, and we are about to send an assessment team to Turkey as well."

But it is a first for the US, and an event likely to be received with some glee in countries lectured by Washington on their electoral processes.



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