Bob Barr

When I voted yesterday in Smyrna, Georgia, I exchanged pleasantries with poll workers, watched children waiting patiently in line with their parents, and shook hands with a local candidate I know. It was, despite the Rainy Day in Georgia, a thoroughly pleasant and uplifting experience – as voting in a free country should be. Unfortunately, but reflecting a clear trend toward confrontational voting, some voters in other communities and states were not so fortunate.

In some areas, such as Philadelphia, so-called “New Black Panther Party” members, decked out in black berets, metal insignias, sunglasses and special forces-styled black jackets, stationed themselves strategically at polling place entrances in a clear effort to intimidate voters and poll workers. In other areas, “observers” from foreign countries watched for signs of “voter suppression” or “intimidation” – which to these self-styled election experts from such renowned democracies as Serbia, Belarus, Albania, Krygystan, and Kazakhstan, is defined as simply checking voters’ ID cards in order to make sure they are who they say they are and are in fact properly registered.

In still other areas, union officials – fearful of seeing their already slim influence in our country’s political system weakened further – scrambled to place “observers” in key polling sites favorable to pro-union candidates. Of course, as has become commonplace since the “hanging chad” election in 2000, legions of lawyers fanned out across the country -- especially in states deemed to be Electoral College “battlegrounds” -- ready to move the election’s venue from the ballot box to the courtroom as soon as polls began to close.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of all this is the move toward the “internationalization” of U.S. elections. This development not only emboldens the dysfunctional United Nations and other multi-national bureaucracies, but also raises the specter of future U.S. election results being challenged in international judicial forums.

The primary vehicle for this attempted international interference in our country’s domestic election processes is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a relic of the Cold War. The OSCE has no real purpose in life, other than serving as a vehicle by which its 56 members are able to proclaim it to be “the world’s largest regional security organization.”

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.