Not Everyone Welcome at GAB Meeting with International Election Observers

MacIver News Service | November 1, 2012

[Madison, Wisc…] The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) says it met with international election observers on Thursday. According to a newsletter from the League of Women Voters, their group also attended the meeting.

When one interested recipient of the newsletter asked to attend, they were told it was a private gathering.

After being contacted by the MacIver News Service about the meeting, the GAB responded with a flyer concerning international observers.

“Since 2008, the Government Accountability Board has hosted at least 20 separate groups representing nations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe,” the flyer reads.

Two observers–one from Germany and one from France–are in Wisconsin from October 23th to November 9th. Both are part of the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

“The focus of their visit to our State is to assess the political environment in Wisconsin, gain insight as to what factors are at play in campaigning and election preparations, and to identify political trends,” according to the GAB.

According to the National Association of Secretaries of State, “OSCE mission representatives have assured them that recent meetings with human and civil rights organizations requesting targeted monitoring activities by their group have not changed the original purpose or scope of their mission, which is limited to observation activities.”

As OSCE has publicly noted, “the mission will not carry out systematic or comprehensive observation of the voting, counting or tabulation’ on Election Day.”

“It is without question that they must adhere to all federal, state and local laws in the U.S. that govern the conduct of elections,” the GAB flyer states.

The GAB also says it has met with other observers leading up to next week’s general election.