A poll watcher keeps an "eye" on things.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: November 4, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – While we are not entirely certain where the United Nations “poll watchers” will be, according to the “United Nations Election Observer Deployment 2012” list, two UN-sanctioned “poll watchers” will be observing elections here in Oklahoma City.
The two “poll watchers, according to the list of 44 total, will be Sandra Gale of the United Kingdom and Baurzhan Yermegiyayev of Kazakhstan. The other state Gale and Yermegiyayev will be visiting is Missouri, at their state capital city of Jefferson City. Other "poll watchers" are fanning out across the country, and many Americans are taking offense at this insult to American sovereignty.
Writing at the Missouri Watchdog, the two election observers are from the Warsaw, Poland-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and spokesman Thomas Rymer said, “The observers are following campaign activities, the work of election administration and relevant federal and state institutions, implementation of the legislative framework, and the resolution of election disputes.”
The story notes that Missouri law allows for election observers “as long as they don’t get in the way.” And the story makes clear that they will not play any role in counting votes or resolving election disputes. Additionally, Gale and Yermegiyayev’s “role is to observe the process and to report on the degree to which that process meets the commitments that the United States has agreed to uphold.”
Of course Texas has already warned the UN “poll watchers” that their presence at polling places is not welcome and considered an infringement on Texas’ sovereignty. Attorney General Greg Abbott has said that the poll watchers risk criminal prosecution if they interfere with the election in Texas. Iowa has also reportedly made similar statements against the international meddlers, who have been observing elections in the U.S. for more than a decade, according to a 2004 USA Today article.
Looking for more information on the “poll watchers,” we found a Baurzhan Yermegiyayev who is a Muslim lawyer from Astana, Kazakhstan and lists his interests as being the dreadful “whiteface n’ drag” film White Chicks, loves the 2pac song “Only God Can Judge Me,” is into boxing, and vacationing in Miami. Sounds like he is doing pretty well for himself.
Curiously, Kazakhstan was head of the OSCE in 2010, but Kazakhstan has been criticized heavily by human-rights groups, has had a single ruling party for years, is considered undemocratic and President Nursultan Nazarbayev keeps an iron grip on his powerful position in the oil-rich, former Soviet republic.
The presidential election earlier this year earned Nazarbayev over 80 percent of the vote and was called in the European press one of the “dirtiest” elections of the year. We wonder if Mr. Yermegiyayev cried foul when his “president-for-life” accepted another term under a dark cloud that includes violence and intimidation to anyone who dares to challenge his rule. We think not.
The New American reported that having observers in the U.S. representing dictatorial regimes like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan is ludicrous, as they are not “paragons of electoral virtue … (n)or are they models of liberty, honesty and decency.”
UPDATE (9:09 p.m. Nov. 4, 2012): Kaye Beach, at Axxiom for Liberty, sent us a a copy of a letter that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt sent out a few days ago to the State Election Board, saying that these foreign observers are not coming to Oklahoma after all and that state law does not allow unauthorized persons "winthin 50 feet of any ballot box while an election is in progress." So, with that, we are assuming Ms. Gale and Mr. Yermegiyayev will spend their entire Tuesday in the Show-Me State.
Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report