Metcalfe Tells United Nations to Stay Away from Pennsylvania Elections
11/1/2012
HARRISBURG — House State Government Committee Majority Chairman, State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), sent a letter to Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Carole Aichele today denouncing the recent invitation from the Department of State welcoming United Nation inspectors to monitor Commonwealth polling places on Election Day.

“The United Nations and its foreign nationalist subdivisions have no legal authority to even enter our polling places and should certainly not be welcomed by any level of government to inspect Pennsylvania elections,” said Metcalfe, who prime sponsored Pennsylvania’s Voter Identification Protection Act (Act 18 of 2012). “United Nations monitors have no right or jurisdiction whatsoever to intrude upon the sanctity or integrity of the Commonwealth’s election process.”

A statewide media source, which quoted a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, recently reported that United Nations officials may be inspecting elections in Pennsylvania. In the article, the spokesman explicitly stated that “Pennsylvania welcomes any interested parties to watch elections, but made it clear that it’s up to local officials on what they’ll be allowed to see.”

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), an arm of the United Nations, plans to deploy 44 observers across the United States on Election Day. While the OSCE has not explicitly stated its plans to attempt to monitor Pennsylvania elections, eight civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the ACLU, sent a letter urging them to do so in states that have recently passed new election laws.

“It is worth noting that the NAACP and the ACLU are the same groups that have been working to stop our new commonsense, election fraud prevention measure of voter photo identification,” Metcalfe said in the letter. “Pennsylvania has taken great steps to enhance the integrity of the ballot, and regardless of the resistance and roadblocks perpetuated by these self-proclaiming civil rights groups, the constitutionality of voter identification laws remains sound.”

In regard to the OSCE observers, Representative Metcalfe said in the letter that “the Pennsylvania Election Code does not allow these individuals to ‘stand quietly and watch’ inside the polls on Election Day, as was also stated by the Department of State spokesman in the news article. They do not have the authority under the Pennsylvania Election Code to inspect elections in this manner.”

Section 1220 (d) of the Election Code places limitations on who may be inside a polling place, as follows:

“All persons, except election officers, clerks, machine inspectors, overseers, watchers, persons in the course of voting, persons lawfully giving assistance to voters, and peace and police officers, when permitted by the provisions of this act, must remain at least ten (10) feet distant from the polling place during the progress of the voting”.

In regard to poll watchers, Section 417 of the Election Code establishes qualifications for serving as a poll watcher, as follows:

“Each watcher so appointed must be a qualified registered elector of the county in which the election district for which the watcher was appointed is located.”

“It is obvious that OSCE international observers do not meet the above mentioned statutory criteria,” Metcalfe said in the letter. “Instead of welcoming these observers with open arms, we should rather encourage these individuals to monitor our election process from the same vantage point as our media: standing outside of the polling place. Better yet, they should just stay away, along with any other integrity-deficient individuals or foreign nationals who wish to exercise a fraudulent or corrupt influence on the 2012 election. OSCE observers should be held to the same criminal prosecutions as any other individual for violations of state election law.”

Representative Metcalfe’s letter to Secretary Aichele can be viewed here.

State Representative Daryl Metcalfe
12th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin
tmccausl@pahousegop.com
717.772.9979
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