Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery Gives Warning to Foreign Election Observers

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery put out a press release to tell foreigners to keep their distance from polling places on election day, consistent with state law.

That friendly reminder is in response to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe sending observers to watch the election process here in the States, including Arizona.

See also:
-Texas AG Greg Abbott Threatens to Press Charges Against European Election Monitors

As you can see in the link above, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott caused a stink last week -- and probably confirmed that Texas politicians hate Europeans -- saying, "UN poll watchers can't interfere w/ Texas elections. I'll bring criminal charges if needed."

Abbott's letter to the organization explained that the potential charges would be for getting too close to a polling place, which Montgomery is also warning foreigners about.

From his press release:

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery reminds representatives of international organizations interested in observing upcoming state and federal elections in Arizona that they must comply with state statutes that set forth the limitations on who may enter a polling place.

"While we certainly appreciate the interest from foreign citizens who want to observe our democracy in action, we must be mindful of the statutory guarantees that protect and facilitate our right to vote," remarked County Attorney Montgomery. "The law is very clear on public access to polling places and I encourage any guests from out of town to become familiar with it," he added.

The county attorney doesn't usually remind foreigners how laws work here in 'merica, but he's correct in stating that the law requires these observers to stay 75 feet away from polling places. Also, in case any English people come to town, we drive on the right side of the road. Canadians: drinking age is 21.

According to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's response to Abbott's letter, the organization always plays by the rules. It's also done this before -- the organization observed elections in the U.S. just two years ago, during the mid-term elections.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley