Already, the Attorney General in Texas has warned these people that their “monitoring” activities will not be permitted at polling places, and they’ll be arrested if they come within 300 feet of one. Now, Iowa is saying the same thing: you’re not welcome here.
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz warned a group of international voting monitors that they face arrest if they monitor polling locations in Iowa next week.
“My office met with two delegation representatives last week to discuss Iowa’s election process, and it was explained to them that they are not permitted at the polls,” Schultz said in a statement released Tuesday. “Iowa law is very specific about who is permitted at polling places, and there is no exception for members of this group.”
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe plans to send observers from its Office for Democratic Institutions to Iowa and other states. According to the group’s website, members have been meeting with election officials and political party workers since last month to discuss their observation plans in the United States.
Attempts to reach Thomas Rymer, spokesman for the Office of Democratic Institutions, were not successful Tuesday.
Schultz said he supports the efforts of other nations to learn about the U.S. election process, but pointed to a statute in Iowa code that limits the number of people at a particular polling place. That section of code, with few exceptions, allows poll watchers from political parties, news media and campaigns to be at polling locations.