Texas, Iowa block observers from polls

Nov. 1, 2012 at 5:32 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Election officials in Iowa and Texas have ordered international observers to stay hundreds of feet from polls, a spokesman said.

Thomas Rymer, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said the officials' actions might be putting the United States in violation of an international agreement that has been in force for decades, Politico reported. But he said the group will comply with state laws.

"It's a pretty simple answer: The U.S., as a participating state and founding member of the OSCE, has made certain commitments to allow international observers," he said. "That said, our observers aren't there to interfere."

In 2008, OSCE observers were kept out of polling places in five states and were blocked in some counties of several others.

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