Daily News Archive

International Election Experts To Monitor U.S. Elections
(Beyond Pesticides, September 15, 2004)
Twenty international election experts from all over the world landed this week in Washington, D.C. to begin an unprecedented monitoring of the upcoming U.S. elections. The purpose is to ensure fair play, boost voter confidence and participation, and to make recommendations where problems are found.

The upcoming election has been called one of the most pivotal in U.S. history. The Bush Administration has been repeatedly accused of severely weakening pesticide regulation and protections of human health and the environment in this country. (See Daily News story.) Whoever wins the White House for the next four years will be the one who determines the direction of our fragile future.

The Florida fiasco during the last presidential election has left many wondering if such problems as voter disenfranchisement and ballot inconsistencies are more widespread than previously thought. Experience in dozens of countries around the world has shown that the presence of outside observers can make a valuable contribution toward building trust in democratic processes and helping to ensure fair election.

The team of independent, non-partisan, and non-governmental election monitors is coordinated by the human rights public interest group, Global Exchange, which has conducted election monitoring in ten countries worldwide. “Honest scrutiny, serious reporting, and thoughtful recommendations from outside observers can help rebuild public trust in our democracy. We want to ensure that American democracy is the best it possibly can be, that it lives up to the principles established in our nation’s founding documents. If American democracy falters, the ideal of democracy suffers. And that, by any measure, would be a grievous blow to the global hope in government of, by, and for the people,” says Global Exchange.

The pre-electoral fact-finding team will spend four days in Washington, DC meeting with policy analysts, government officials and others before splitting into five groups that will then embark to conduct further investigations in five states. The states to be closely monitored are Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio.

The observers plan to tackle some of the most controversial issues threatening the integrity of the upcoming elections such as minority and poor voter disenfranchisement; security of millions of votes recorded via electronic voting machines; and concerns surrounding wealth and financing of political contests.

TAKE ACTION: For more information about the monitors and their role, contact Global Exchange, 415-255-7296. Your vote this November will determine who is in charge of pesticide regulation. Register to vote and make your voice heard! Most states require that voters register 15-30 days before the election. Register early and make sure you're counted!