November 2, 2012

The group hosting international election observers said Thursday that state officials in Iowa and Texas are needlessly blocking access to the decades-old process the United States already has agreed to, an official said Thursday.

Thomas Rymer, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said the group will abide by election laws after officials in those states warned about possible criminal prosecution if the observers came within hundreds of feet of polling places.

“We will of course comply,” Rymer told POLITICO. “At the same time, the lack of access to polling stations for international observers in some states is not in line with the United States’s international commitments, and we have noted this in past final reports issued by observation missions.”

On Nov. 6, the OSCE — a 56-country security and conflict resolution organization that includes the United States — will have 44 observers in different states meeting with “stakeholders,” including candidates, local media and other on-the-ground actors, as well as a team of 13 election analysts in Washington , who will focus on specific issues such as demographic turnout nationally.

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