Remember the observers from the United Nations during Election Day 2012? The U.N. observers cited some interesting aspects of the American election process.
A special program within the United Nations called the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) was implemented this past Election Day throughout the United States. On November 6, 2012, 44 U.N. observers visited polling cities across the country. They were in teams of two. Some covered more than one state. For instance, the observers sent to Annapolis, Maryland, in the morning, then visited Richmond, Virginia, in the afternoon.
The thought of having outsiders scrutinize how America runs our elections was unsettling to say the least to most. A few states (Texas) took legal action in a attempt to dissuade the observers from entering precincts.
What did the observers see? Their official report noted a overall well run operation. They were impressed with the turnout in most states. They also liked our use of technology. Yet they did not understand why each state did not use the same voting booth technology.
Now here are the big points raised by the observers. First, the concept of allowing a Provisional ballot by a voter who could not provide appropriate identification was a real surprise to them. They cited this process opened up the potential for false processing of a ballot. Secondly, and most profoundly, the observers did not understand why a photo ID was not required in all states. Citing the voter should have the responsibility to provide positive ID. And the state should take the position to protect the process when a voter fails to provide a photo. Many observers stated that a developed country like America should have photo ID as the primary requirement in voter identification.
These observations lend credence to the need for states, like Virginia, to take action requiring photo ID of all voters. Political differences have unfortunately torn common sense from voter identification law in many states. The use of a Provisional ballot in most states bears further scrutiny.
Perhaps the unwanted observers saw what they expected and exposed the weakness of our politics that have undermined American voter integrity.