Sunday, March 14, 2004

Now, this is the kind of proactive political move I like to see. I don't know when the state that hosts Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, Little Havana, and Margaritaville became the Banana Republic of Florida, but apparently it's always been so in election seasons. As a bit of background, this is the 8th presidential election cycle I've participated in (ok, now go do the math...), and I never remember Florida being a true battleground state prior to the 2000 election. Times have obviously changed.

If we could get Kofi Anan involved in the effort described by the Tallahassee Democrat (the newspaper, not some schlub liberal politico in the Sunshine State), I'd feel a whole lot more comfortable about the results of the election this year. Come to think of it, international monitoring in all 50 states might not be a bad idea, considering the outcome last time.
International monitors will watch election
By Nancy Cook Lauer

They've monitored voting in Haiti; now they're on their way to El Salvador. Their next stops? Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

For the first time, international monitors will be in the United States to make sure votes are cast and counted correctly. Members of the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi announced Monday that they will post monitors at polling places in four Florida during the Nov. 2 general election.

"We have assisted groups in other nations who fear that their voices will not be heard and that the powerful will manipulate the process to suit their own aspirations unless the eyes of the world are watching," said Dave Robinson, national coordinator of Pax Christi USA. "But as evident in the elections of 2000, particularly in the state of Florida, we in the United States have our own difficulties in assuring an election atmosphere that is transparent, open, honest and free of controversy."

Gov. Jeb Bush bristled at the comparison and said such monitors aren't needed.

"It sounds to me like they're playing politics," Bush said.