Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Texas Attorney General Sends Warning To International Election Observers

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to reporters 2011.
Brendan Smialowski
Getty Images
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to reporters 2011.

The Texas attorney general is warning international election observers not to mess with Texas.

"Your opinion is legally irrelevant in the United States, where the Supreme Court has already determined that Voter ID laws are constitutional," Greg Abbott wrote in a letter sent to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors elections across the world.

Abbott says that the OSCE has had contacts with organizations "closely affiliated with ACORN, which collapsed in disgrace after its role in a widespread voter-registration fraud scheme."

He goes on to issue a stern warning:

"It may be a criminal offense for OSCE's representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place's entrance. Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE's representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law."

The Amarillo Globe News points out that Texas' voter ID law is on hold, pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The OSCE, by the way, observed elections in 2004 and in 2008. The last time around, they found that the election process was a "convincing demonstration of the country's commitment to democracy."

In other semi-related news, the Republican candidate for Senate in Florida made some pointed comments about the United Nations as well.

In a news release, Rep. Connie Mack IV said the U.N. should be "defunded" and removed from its headquarters in New York City.

He said, according to The Orlando Sentinel:

"For years the United Nations has aggressively worked against the best interests of our country and many of our allies. The UN's actions and intentions toward the United States have been nothing short of reprehensible.

"Every American should be outraged by this news. The United States must defund the United Nations. The United Nations should be kicked off of American soil once and for all. And the American people should demand that the United Nations be stopped from 'monitoring' American elections. The only ones who should ever oversee American elections are Americans."

Correction at 5:02 p.m. ET. An earlier version of this post, stated that the OSCE monitored elections for the United Nations. The OSCE is an independent organization.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.