Last Sunday the Stoneham Democratic Committee hosted a fund raiser featuring Martha Coakley as the guest speaker. We were honored to welcome two international election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe who were in America observing our process for electing a President. I had a very interesting conversation with one of the gentlemen, who was particularly amazed that in a national election there were 50 different sets of rules for how to vote. I was surprised when he told me that they had also contacted the Scott Brown campaign requesting permission to attend the rally in Melrose earlier in the week that featured John McCain and had been told they would not be welcome. I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t want them there.
Then today I find a post on Talking Points Memo that says the Texas Attorney General is threatening to prosecute any OSCE observer that comes within 100 feet of a polling place on election day. This is just ridiculous. These people are here because Americans send observers to foreign elections all the time and some of the OSCE member countries felt that it was only fair to turn the tables. We should be proud of the way we conduct our elections in this country, and its obvious that the Republicans feel like there’s something to hide. Given all of the recent stories about election mailings with the wrong dates, voter registration forms thrown into dumpsters and billboards trying to intimidate voters, maybe we do need international observers.