NAACP and others say voter restrictions and ID laws ahead of 2012 US election require planned observer mission to expand
American civil rights groups have appealed to the world’s biggest election monitoring organisation over concerns about controversial changes in voter registration ahead of the November 6 White House poll.
The eight civil rights group expressed their worry that millions, including those on low income as well as minorities, could be excluded from the vote for the presidency and for members of Congress.
They raised the issues during a meeting on Tuesday in Washington with representatives from the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which represents 56 states in Europe, Central Asia and North America.
The OSCE is likely to refer to the concerns in an interim report on the US elections out at the end of next week. It is also expected to pass on the views of the civil rights groups to its team of international observers who are being sent to monitor elections in 40 states.
The OSCE opened its observer mission in the US on October 9, led by OSCE ambassador Daan Everts. It has 13 international experts based in DC and 44 long-term observers from 23 countries being deployed throughout the country.
Its mission is to assess the election for compliance with international obligations and standards for democratic elections.
In a statement, it said: “The mission will analyse the legislative framework and its implementation and will follow campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, including voter registration, and the resolution of election disputes.’
The eight civil rights groups, who include the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the NAACP, asked the OSCE to send election monitors to the states most affected by voter restrictions.
They cited new restrictions on voting periods and voter ID laws aimed at disenfranchising women, the young, the elderly and disabled, as well as minorities and those on low income.
The states identified as places they would like to see observers deployed are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Wisconsin.
The OSCE, as well as issuing interim reports before the election, will also publish its finding immediately after the election and a more considered verdict a few months later.
[“Voting day in a small town” by Liz West via Flickr, Creative Commons licensed]
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019