A group of liberal Democratic congressmen led by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Tex.) has sent a letter to the United Nations asking it to monitor this year’s U.S. elections. “It is imperative that there be some type of independent monitoring for this fall’s election,” Johnson said at a July 8 press conference.
“The United Nations provides this assistance for other member countries. Why not the United States? We are not above the law,” she said. “Nor are we above asking for assistance. We are hoping our action will alleviate the nightmare and the humiliation that many voters suffered at the ballot box and the voting machine during the 2000 election. African-Americans, women and other U.S. citizens have fought too hard and too long for us to allow our votes not to be counted. We have to instill some trust and accountability back in the process, or people will lose faith in the power of their vote.”
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the congressmen wrote, “We are deeply concerned that the right of U.S. citizens to vote in free and fair elections is again in jeopardy.” Congressmen Corrine Brown, Julia Carson, William Lacy Clay, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Danny Davis, Raul Grijalva, Michael Honda, Barbara Lee, Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Edolphus Towns also signed the letter.
Nadler was quoted by Roll Call (July 6) as charging that the Bush Administration doesn’t care about fair elections. “I certainly do not trust the Bush Administration to be interested in an honest election,” he said.
Legal experts said that the administration would have to allow UN monitoring before it could happen, which appears unlikely. Johnson said that she hoped UN would come in to “alleviate the nation from the suffering it took in 2000 when things went awry at the ballot box.”