The Washington Post

Election-watchers warned: don’t mess with Texas

Don’t say Texas Gov. Rick Perry didn’t warn you. (Ben Torres/AP)

After learning that observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe might be in the Lone Star State on Nov. 6, state Attorney General Greg Abbott offered a not-so-warm greeting: You’re not welcome ’round these parts.

In a letter, he noted that the observers had no jurisdiction. In a tweet, as reported by the Dallas Observer, he was more succinct. “UN poll watchers can’t interfere w/ Texas elections. I’ll bring criminal charges if needed. Official letter posted soon. #comeandtakeit.”

The poll watchers aren’t actually from the U.N., but no matter.

The OSCE has been sending staff to observe U.S. elections since 2002, and this year, it plans to send observers to 10 states.

And on Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the OSCE observers had promised to obey all laws while in Texas. “To my knowledge, it’s the only state that came forward and said please reassure us that you’re going to follow our state electoral law,” Nuland said of the Lone Star state officials. “And they have now been reassured.”

But will they wear boots?

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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