Wednesday, November 03, 2004

International Monitors

What the international monitors thought of our election
Global monitors find faults

By Thomas Crampton International Herald Tribune
Wednesday, November 3, 2004


The global implications of the U.S. election are undeniable, but international monitors at a polling station in southern Florida said Tuesday that voting procedures being used in the extremely close contest fell short in many ways of the best global practices.

The observers said they had less access to polls than in Kazakhstan, that the electronic voting had fewer fail-safes than in Venezuela, that the ballots were not so simple as in the Republic of Georgia and that no other country had such a complex national election system.

'To be honest, monitoring elections in Serbia a few months ago was much simpler,' said Konrad Olszewski, an election observer stationed in Miami by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

'They have one national election law and use the paper ballots I really prefer over any other system,' Olszewski said.

* * *
The United States is also nearly unique in lacking a unified voter registration system or national identity card, Gould said, adding that he would ideally require U.S. voters to dip a finger in an ink bowl or have a cuticle stained black after voting.

"In El Salvador, Namibia and so many other elections, the ink was extremely important in preventing challenges to multiple voting," Gould said. "In Afghanistan it didn't work so well, because they used the dipping ink for the cuticles, so it wiped right off."
You know, they have a point.

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