2012 Presidential Election
4:37 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Texas AG Pits State Code Against International Treaty

The terms of a US-signed international treaty require participants to allow observers in on their elections – but that conflicts with Texas Electoral Code.
Credit http://www.flickr.com/snurb/

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been making waves in international waters. Abbott and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an international watchdog group, have been clashing all week.

The OSCE wants to place two observers in a Texas polling station in the upcoming November elections, but Abbott says this violates the Texas Election code. In a letter Abbott sent to the organization on Tuesday he said Texas, and every state, is allowed to regulate their own elections. Abbott writes that Texas code says, "groups and individuals from outside the United States are not allowed to influence or interfere with the election process in Texas."

According to Tuesday's letter, OSCE has already stated that Voter ID laws like the one in Texas are a breach of voter rights.

OSCE says they are required to be present because of U.S. participation in a 1990 treaty. The U.S. was one of 56 cosigners of a treaty that mandates each member country host electoral observers.

After the initial back and forth, Abbott wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her to get involved.

OSCE spokesman Thomas Rymer says this is the sixth election the OSCE has observed in the U.S. They’ve even been to Texas in the past – in 2008 OSCE stationed observers in San Antonio and were not challenged by the state.

Rymer says OSCE has commented all they will on the U.S. situation, but is happy to talk about their efforts in Ukrainian elections.